Emergency Dental Care

Tooth Replacement Options: Dental Implants, Bridges, and Dentures

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Losing one or more teeth can affect more than just your physical appearance. It can also affect your speech, your food choices and your body’s overall state of health. Within a year of losing a tooth, you’re likely to lose up to 25 percent of the supporting structure in your jawbone. Thus, it’s important to have some type of procedure done to fill in the empty space.

Here’s a brief look at your options:

Implants

Implants are one of the most common tooth replacement options. They involve inserting a post into the supporting bone structure to prevent neighboring teeth from drifting out of position. A replacement tooth can then be fitted to the top of each post. Implants are typically made of titanium and other metals that are harmless to the human body.

Although implants are a popular option, they’re not suitable for everyone. Since surgery is required, the patient has to be in good health and must have enough bone left to support the implant. If not, surgery will be necessary to build the area back up. Even after the implants are in place, the patient will have to make regular visits to their dentist and commit themselves to a daily care regimen.

Bridges

A bridge is another option that makes use of surrounding teeth to support an artificial tooth. It involves shaving down and contouring the two adjacent teeth so that caps, called “crowns,” can be fitted over them. A single piece is made up of the two crowns with the false tooth in the middle, forming a “bridge” between the other two teeth. This is a great option to consider if you already have problems with those other teeth. Bridges can be either fixed or removable, depending on the patient’s mouth and needs.

Dentures

Dentures are false teeth that are relatively quick to fabricate and easy for the patient to remove. They can be eitherpartial or complete, depending on how many teeth need to be replaced and where they are located. Partial dentures can be created for situations that call for one to a few teeth. They come mounted to a plastic or metal framework and are designed to fit comfortably around the patient’s other teeth. Complete dentures are for patients who are missing all their teeth. Dentures should be removed nightly to allow the gums to breathe, as well as for cleaning.

The best tooth replacement option for you is best determined by consulting with your dentist and discussing your needs and unique situation. There are many factors to consider, including treatment costs, goals and numerous other concerns you might have. The most important thing to remember is that there’s no need to suffer from the mounting effects that may result from missing teeth.

Solutions For Teeth Sensitivity

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Most people experience the sharp pain and discomfort of teeth sensitivity at one time or another. It’s usually triggered by certain foods or temperatures, but the episodes are almost always only temporary. Just a few common causes of teeth sensitivity are:

  • Gum recession from periodontal disease
  • Inflamed gum tissue from gingivitis
  • Worn or cracked teeth enamel
  • Acidic foods and prolonged use of mouthwash
  • Plaque building up

Proper diagnosis is the key
Different solutions are available for teeth sensitivity, but there’s no treatment modality that works for everybody. That’s why a proper diagnosis of the cause of teeth sensitivity is important in treating it. Without that proper diagnosis, the sensitivity is being treated without treating the cause of it.

Solutions
You can begin reducing the frequency and duration of teeth sensitivity while reducing the pain from it by starting at home. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles along with a desensitizing toothpaste. Avoid acidic foods too. Then you can follow up with us for a diagnosis. Based on the dental condition that’s diagnosed, we’ll discuss a procedure that may reduce your sensitivity.

These might include:

  • Bonding, crowns or inlays
  • A fluoride gel or varnish
  • Surgical gum protection
  • A root canal if other solutions haven’t worked

Don’t worry about a painful procedure. Painless dentistry has come a long way in the last 30 years, and your solution might even be as simple as a custom mouth guard to wear at night when you’re sleeping. Call us for a consultation and evaluation of your sensitive teeth issue, and we’ll discuss your treatment options. We treat patients of all ages from across the Roseville area.

Maintaining Good Dental Care Habits

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Maintaining good dental care habits is important for healthy teeth and gums. If a regular daily routine is not performed, teeth and gums will be affected by cavities, embarrassing stains and gum disease. Loss of teeth and swollen, painful gums may also occur.

Brushing Teeth and Gums
Teeth and gums should be brushed every day at least twice a day. Both adults and children should brush for no less than two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Using a medium or hard-bristled brush can damage tooth enamel and cause sore gums. Those with braces should brush after every meal.

Flossing Between Teeth
Cleaning between teeth with waxed or unwaxed floss should occur at least once a day. Doing so removes any food particles that the toothbrush did not dislodge. Small floss rolls, picks or a water pick can be used after brushing. Children can also floss as long as they are taught the proper way.

Rinsing
Brushing and flossing cleans and refreshes one’s mouth, but many adults also use mouthwash or a fluoride rinse in their daily routine. Antiseptic mouthwash not only cleans and refreshes but also helps heal canker sores or swollen gums. A fluoride rinse is used for added protection for tooth enamel.

Watch What You Eat
Some foods promote the production of bacteria that causes cavities. These foods include sticky, sweet snacks like candy, cake and dried fruit. Large amounts of coffee and tea will stain teeth; and sugar-filled beverages like fruit juice, carbonated drinks, sports and energy drinks will damage enamel over time. It is recommended to include plenty of water, fruit, vegetables, nuts and cheese in one’s diet on a daily basis. Continue reading

Natural Teeth Whitening

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Having great teeth has become increasingly popular in our modern society. Many of us find ourselves hiding our teeth in photos and feeling self conscience when smiling or laughing. The harsh reality is that discoloration does occur in teeth, sometimes naturally and other times because of habits that we have, such as drinking coffee or smoking. Everyone deserves a pearly white smile, no matter what their circumstances. Brushing your teeth after eating and drinking is a great start, but, unfortunately, is more preventative as opposed to being a reactive solution. Luckily, there are a few more natural ways to whiten your teeth at home.

Together, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide form a natural teeth whitener. After making a paste with these ingredients, brush as normal. Be sure to have a smooth paste, as the grittiness of baking soda can scrub the enamel off of the teeth if used in too high of a concentration. The peroxide acts as an anti-bacterial, cleaning the gums and keeping the entire mouth germ-free.

Apple cider vinegar is also great for in-home teeth whitening, as its acidity works as a heavy-duty stain remover. You can brush with the liquid or use it as a mouthwash. However, consistency is key here, as results will not be detected after a single use. Make sure to rinse your mouth out completely, as the lingering aftertaste of any type of vinegar is less than pleasant.

If you’ve heard of oil pulling, it was probably in the context of aiding in acne treatment. However, coconut oil is also great as a natural teeth whitener. Swish a spoonful of coconut oil around in your mouth for 15 minutes for sparkling teeth and healthy gums.

Finally, one of our most commonplace kitchen items can be used either in combination with any of the above substances or on its own. Lemon juice has near superpowers when it comes to promoting bodily health, and this is no different when teeth are concerned. The acidity acts to strip plaque and other nasty lingerers from the teeth and leaves your mouth feeling super fresh. However, don’t forget to rinse with water after, as the leftover acid can actually break down the enamel if left too long.

Check with your dentist before using any of these whitening techniques to make sure it is right for you.  Professional teeth whitening with your local dentist is always the best alternative for whitening your teeth.

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Most Don’t Need Antibiotics Before Dental Work

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Many patients insist on being written a full 7 to 10 day round of broad-spectrum antibiotics before having a dental procedure performed. Patients hear from their friends, family members, and even some of their doctors that this is a reasonable, necessary precaution to take. From a provider perspective, it is quite understandable why this seems to be a well-reasoned belief. Probably one of the biggest concerns patients tend to express is their fear that bacteria will spread from their mouth or tooth to their bloodstream during a procedure. When bacteria or other foreign matter enters the bloodstream and causes inflammation to heart tissues, it is called infective endocarditis.

The American Heart Association says dentists and dental patients may be overreacting to the fear of infective endocarditis. and that we should reserve antibiotics for cases where infectious disease is more likely. Using antibiotics prophylactic are not only completely unnecessary for most patients, but are often only causing problems for the patient. Antibiotics should typically only be taken where there is a confirmed infection within the body. When patients take antibiotics when they are not sick, they take a risk of developing a condition caused by the medication. Rash and upset stomach are two of the less serious side effects to antibiotics, but there are also serious adverse effects that can result from taking them, as well, such as allergic reactions and life-threatening conditions, such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a severe skin condition that can be fatal. Another reason to be more selective about when to take antibiotics is because of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are bacteria that cannot be killed with standard antibiotic treatments. If an antibiotic is used frivolously, the bacteria may develop an immunity to that medication and survive even the most rigorous medications. In cases like these, infections can be more dangerous and will require more serious treatments to be used. Those stronger antibiotics have an even higher risk for causing severe side effects and reactions. Continue reading

Tobacco Use and Your Oral Health

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The potential for cardiovascular and lung damage from using tobacco products are well-known. Much has also been advertised about the effects of second hand smoke. However, outside of the possibility of developing oral cancer from chewing tobacco, not much has been discussed concerning the effects that smoked and smokeless tobacco have on oral health. Along with the nicotine content, tobacco contains hundreds if not thousands of harmful chemicals that are used to process the plant, amplify the flavor or preserve the products.

Obvious Drawbacks

Using any type of tobacco product stains the teeth and tongue. Users have chronic bad breath and a decreased sense of taste. In order to create a healthier oral environment, individuals would have to brush and floss after each time they smoked or chewed tobacco. Smoking or chewing tobacco also depletes the body of vitamin C, which is necessary for a healthy immune system. Stopping the addictive habit is the ideal solution. However, at least cutting down on the number of times that you smoke or chew throughout the day helps improve your oral health.

Inhibits Oral Healing 

Nicotine constricts blood vessels, which interferes with blood flow throughout the body and the mouth. Blood carries necessary oxygen and nutrients to oral tissues. It is not uncommon for oral tissues to suffer damage while eating. Coarse foods like potato chips may cause minute tears. Most people have experienced biting their tongue. Hot foods cause slight burns. Injuries might also occur when playing sports or becoming involved in some type of accident affecting the mouth. Without proper blood circulation, the tissues have more difficulty making the necessary cellular repairs.  Continue reading

Understanding Periodontitis: A Progressive Form of Gum Disease

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Proper dental hygiene is necessary for all people to maintain great oral health throughout their lifetime. Without adequate cleanliness and good habits, there is an increased chance of developing gum disease or advanced periodontitis. Brushing and flossing are the basic steps in oral disease prevention, but routine professional care is also necessary for optimal cleanliness.

The Cause
A patient may be more likely to develop gum disease due to genetics, but many cases develop simply because of neglectful oral care. As sticky bacteria builds up on the surface of the teeth, it can cause gingivitis to develop. This is the first stage of periodontitis that will progressively worsen if the patient leaves the issue untreated. People that smoke, use other tobacco products habitually, grind their teeth at night, or suffer from certain systemic diseases are more susceptible to oral problems because it can speed up the development of major issues.

Symptoms and Complications
Most of the noticeable symptoms that indicate the onset of gum disease often seem like minor issues at first. Unless there is a temporary injury, the gums should not bleed or feel tender. Early stages of gum disease appear as bright red gums, bad breath, or a minor toothache. As the issue progresses into advanced periodontal disease, the patient is going to notice gum recession, frequent swelling, and eventual tooth loss.  Continue reading

Could You Have Bad Breath and not Know It?

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Halitosis is an unfortunate condition that affects many people in the world. Unfortunately, many halitosis suffers go through periods of having bad breath before someone shares the news with them. The Bad Breath Institute claims that about 45 percent of the people in the world have had the condition at some time in their lives. The same institute claims that 80 million Americans suffer from the condition. It is quite possible for a person to have bad breath and not have a clue that the condition is evident.

How People Miss Bad Breath

The reason that halitosis goes undetected for so long is that people’s receptors switch off. The olfactory bulb’s receptors tend to shut down when they receive a common smell for long periods. The laymen’s-terms translation is that people cannot smell their own bad breath because their system is used it. Other people feel the punch of their bad breath like it is the sharp uppercut of a boxing champion.

Things That Cause Bad Breath

Bad breath comes from a number of sources. First, foods such as onions and garlic cause a pungent smell in the mouth, but it does not last very long. Sickness and dry mouth can cause halitosis, as well. Underlying health problems such as diabetes can cause a person to have an unfavorable breath smell. Additionally, decayed teeth, plaque and dental diseases can cause halitosis. Continue reading

Why Are 4 Billion People Ignoring Their Cavities?

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Going to the dentist is something that many dread. It does not matter that there are new techniques that make the experience more comfortable, some avoid the dentist at all costs. The problem is that many people are walking around with cavities in their mouth that are not being taken care of. Cavities are caused by bacteria, and the bacteria is the start of a serious infection. The infection can spread throughout the body and cause major issues, such as sepsis. So why are so many ignoring their aching teeth?

Living With The Pain

In 2013, the Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London, did a study to find out exactly how many people are walking around with decayed teeth. What they found was uncanny. There are almost 4 billion people in the world who have cavities that are untreated. These rotten teeth are keeping them up at night and causing them great discomfort when they try to eat. Yet, many still avoid the trip to the dentist. The population’s oral health is in serious trouble.

Cavities are not the only problems found in the study. Those who are not concerned about their oral health often have other issues that plague their mouth. They can have severe tooth loss or severe gum disease to contend with too. The thing that makes most people break down their resistance and head to the dentist is when it hits a front tooth. As long as it is in the back where no one can see, many continue to avoid the problem.

Why So Many Leave Oral Health To Time and Chance

Many avoid the dentist because they do not have dental insurance. Visiting the dentist is not like the doctor, each procedure must be paid for upfront when no insurance is available. Additionally, many are afraid of drills, being put to sleep, or needles in the mouth. In many cases, an individual just keeps putting off the inevitable. When they finally show up at a dentist’s office, they expect miracles. Once a tooth has broken off and the decay has gone into the root, it becomes fractured and cannot be saved. This is when the costs really mount. A typical filling is rather inexpensive compared to a dental implant. If there is more than one missing tooth, bridges or dentures may be considered. Continue reading

Oral Hygiene and Your Overall Health

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There are some ways to protect your oral health. Your mouth is full of bacteria, and while most of them are harmless, it’s good to make sure you get rid of the bad stuff. Other things, like certain medications you might take orally, can damage your ability to produce saliva, and this too can be problematic for your oral health. Also, your mouth is the gateway to your whole body, so any loss of health here can lead to loss of health elsewhere.

Some diseases can lower your immunity, making risk of periodontitis even higher. This lowered immunity can cause immune systems disorders and infections in the rest of your body, too. So be sure that you do everything you can to boost your immune system, and keep up to date on what you need to do to protect yourself from diseases that could damage your body’s ability to heal itself. Continue reading