Emergency Dental Care

Why Denying Yourself Dental Care Due to Cost is the Worst Course of Action

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While many Americans are able to say that their oral health is relatively healthy or, at least, looks relatively healthy, there are many that cannot say the same. There are numerous disadvantages of poor oral care. For example, oral health is taken into account when potential employers are planning to hire even the most minute employee for lower scale positions. This is an overlooked fact by the Americans that do not suffer from this particular physical problem. Of course, unemployment is not the only thing to stress about when your mouth is not properly taken care of. There are many diseases that accompany underprivileged mouths that can not only harm the body, but possibly cause death. In fact, a 12-year-old boy from Maryland died from a tooth infection because his mother could not afford to take him to the dentist. Emergency visits to the ER due to oral health have skyrocketed these past few years. Why is all of this happening? It seems that dental insurance and the high cost of regular dental visits play an extremely large factor. Continue reading

The Link Between Oral Health and Medical Illness

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Your oral health is more important than you might realize. Your dentist can tell a lot about your overall health from your oral health, and regular cleanings may even give you your first warning that something else is wrong. Your general health can also impact your oral health in some unexpected ways. Regular check ups and cleanings are important to maintaining not only your healthy smile but your overall well-being.

Your mouth gives dentists clues to other health issues like diabetes, oral cancers, heart disease and more. These diseases affect your oral health, and sometimes your dentist is the first to notice the signs so that you can seek other medical treatment to address these diseases. Signs of other health conditions can include swollen or bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, bone loss noted in dental x-rays and chronic jaw pain that is not otherwise explained. Even something as simple as recurrent canker sores inside the mouth can hint at gastro-intestinal or reflux problems. Continue reading

Avoiding Tooth Decay and Cavities

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Practicing good dental hygiene does not have to be difficult. Forming good habits now will give you a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. This article will give you tips to help you prevent tooth decay and cavities.

Brushing and Rinsing

Clean your teeth with either floss or an interdental cleaner every night. After flossing, brush your teeth with fluoride-containing toothpaste first thing in the morning and before you go to bed. Ideally, you should brush after every meal. If you can’t get away to brush your teeth, flush out your mouth with water after you eat.

Every person should rinse their mouth with mouthwash at least twice a day. To prevent cavities, your dentist may recommend that you start using a rinse that contains fluoride.

Eating and Drinking

When you drink a beverage that is not water, the bacteria in your mouth makes acid that can wreak havoc on your tooth enamel. Avoid excessive snacking and drinking throughout the day. Snacking and drinking sugary beverages can endanger the health of your teeth.  Continue reading

Gum Disease: An All-Too-Common Problem

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Most people brush their teeth regularly and floss occasionally, feeling that is all they need for good dental health. However, that is not exactly the best practice to ensure all of the mouth tissues will be fine. Gum disease is a growing problem that starts with inflammation but can lead to severe results, including tooth loss. Here are some of the common reasons so many people are experiencing gum disease.

Sugary foods and acidic beverages.

Food product labels often include sugar even in foods that are not necessarily sweet. Sugar consumption can climb to ten pounds or more per person every year. As a substance that leaves a sticky residue on teeth and gums, sugar contributes to the development of plaque, which, without brushing or rinsing, leads to inflammation and tooth decay. Acidic beverages like soda can erode teeth and irritate gum tissues over time, leading to serious health issues eventually. Continue reading

Caring for a Chipped or Broken Tooth

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Chipped and broken teeth are among the most common issues we see in patients at our Roseville dental practice. Although your teeth are covered by some of the strongest minerals in the body, they do have their limits. Biting down on hard or crunchy food items can often cause a tooth to chip or break completely. It’s important to attend to a chipped tooth as promptly as possible. Not only does it mar the beauty of your smile, it can also lead to further tooth damage and the possible loss of the entire tooth.

So, at the first sign that you have chipped a tooth, contact our office for an appointment at your earliest convenience. Then do the following things in the meantime in order to help minimize the damage and discomfort you are experiencing.

(1) Rinse out your mouth with a solution of warm water mixed with half a teaspoon of salt in order to ensure that no broken pieces remain that can irritate your gums or tongue. If you are experiencing pain, take an over the counter pain reliever containing acetaminophen.

(2) If the chip causes a jagged or sharp edge, invest in some sugarless chewing gum or wax paraffin from the drugstore. Use either of these substances to form a temporary covering over the break to prevent further mouth irritation. Continue reading

Why Do We Have Morning Breath?

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It happens every morning. The dreaded alarm goes off, offering the start of a brand new day. You hit snooze– that should buy you a little time. In an act of ultimate procrastination, you stew around in your warm bed in a race to soak up its last bits of comfort before the impending bell tolls for the second time, this time commanding you to get up. Could there be a more aggressive way to wake someone up in the morning? You take a deep, anticipatory breath and are instantly reminded that there could be. Your exhale has lingered, and it taunts you into shamefully covering your mouth in order to spare the room’s fresh air and/or your sleeping partner. You spring to your feet and head straight to the bathroom faucet to remedy the force that has both rivaled your alarm clock and shocked you into a full state of consciousness– your morning breath.

To put it simply, morning breath is nothing more than bad breath, or halitosis. Halitosis is a common problem with a variety of causes, ranging from simple diet and lifestyle choices to more complex oral health and medical conditions.[1] Chronic issues with halitosis are not very common. Still, almost all of us wake up with some type of bad breath. But why in the morning?  Continue reading

Beyond Teeth: What’s Inside Your Mouth

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It takes but a quick look inside of the mouth to see that there’s more to it than the teeth. There’s the tongue, a bundle of supple muscles that extends from the floor of the mouth. The front of the tongue is anchored by a bit of tissue called the frenum, while the back of the tongue is attached to the hyoid bone. The tongue is of course vital for helping people chew and swallow their food, and contains papillae and taste buds. The tongue also plays a vital role in speech. On average, the tongue of a human is about four inches long.

Also in the mouth cavity is the hard palate, which is the bony front part of the roof of the mouth, and the soft palate, which is the soft part found in the rear. The hard palate creates a partition between a person’s mouth and their nose. The soft palate curves down at the back of the mouth to form a partition between the mouth and the pharynx. The uvula is that structure that looks like a punching bag at the end of the soft palate. Though it helps somewhat with speech, scientists aren’t really sure why the uvula evolved. Continue reading

Dental Sealants Could Save Your Teeth

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Cavities are a common and uncomfortable tooth problem. They cause pain and can be quite expensive to repair. Prevention is the best approach to avoiding cavities, and dental sealants are an excellent choice.

How Cavities Form
A cavity is a part of a tooth that has suffered damage, resulting in openings and holes. Cavities occur due to poor brushing habits, consuming snacks and sweet drinks or by having a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. While they can happen to anyone, cavities are more common in older adults. If they are not properly treated, they become larger and may result in tooth loss.

How Dental Sealants Work
Sealants work by getting into cracks and grooves in the teeth that are difficult to reach through brushing. Made up of plastic resins, sealants form a hard, smooth cover that is less likely to store harmful bacteria and plaque. This makes it easier to keep the teeth clean and healthy. Continue reading

Different types of toothpaste – What do they mean?

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Choosing a type of toothpaste for your family can be confusing with all the different types of toothpaste available today. Understanding how different types of toothpastes work and what ingredients to look for can help you when sorting through the numerous options on store shelves.

Most toothpaste contains fluoride, and with good reason: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and fights cavities and tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Almost without exception, everyone should use fluoride toothpaste. There are very rare cases of people experiencing an allergic reaction to fluoride, but the majority of people of all ages will benefit from fluoride.

Some types of toothpaste fulfill a specific need or desire, such as whitening toothpaste or toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Whitening toothpaste usually contains abrasives that scrub stains away, rather than bleach or other whitening agents. According to WebMD, studies have found that these toothpastes are gentle enough for everyday use and do not harm tooth enamel.  Continue reading

What Are the Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

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What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars located in the very back of the mouth, located in both the upper and lower areas. In most cases, the wisdom teeth don’t have ample room to grow or erupt in a normal fashion, which in turn causes the teeth to become impacted. In certain cases, impacted wisdom teeth do not cause any issues and can remain in the mouth for life. However, the awkward positioning of the teeth can make them difficult to brush or floss, which can eventually lead to decay.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Require Removal?

Wisdom teeth removal is often recommended when the teeth cause dental issues or uncomfortable symptoms, and the procedure may also be recommended if the dentist or oral surgeon suspects that the impacted teeth may cause problems in the future. Understanding the signs of impacted wisdom teeth and discussing treatment options with a dental professional can help patients determine whether or not wisdom teeth removal is the appropriate procedure to suit their particular oral health care needs.

Signs and Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

In certain cases, impacted wisdom teeth do not cause any symptoms and are only detected in X-rays during regular dental checkups. However, the condition can also cause symptoms such as jaw pain, swelling in the jaw area, swollen or inflamed gums in the back molar area and gum tenderness. Individuals with impacted wisdom teeth may also experience headaches, bleeding gums and foul breath. While these symptoms can also be caused by other health issues, it is always best for individuals to consult with a dental professional to ensure a proper diagnosis, as complications such as oral cysts, gum disease and damage to the surrounding molars can occur if the condition is left untreated.

Treatment Options for Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If impacted wisdom teeth that are discovered upon X-ray examinations do not cause discomfort or dental hygiene problems, the condition is referred to as asymptomatic impaction, and patients may be advised to take a “watch and wait” approach. During this period, the dentist will examine the teeth on a regular basis and monitor the impacted areas for symptoms. When the teeth are causing significant pain, dental decay or gum problems, wisdom teeth removal is usually recommended.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

During a wisdom teeth removal procedure, an dentist or oral surgeon creates an incision in the gums in order to access the wisdom teeth. If there are bones blocking the underlying teeth, these will be removed as well. Once the teeth are removed, the area is thoroughly cleaned and the gums are stitched together. The tooth sockets are packed with gauze to protect the area and promote proper healing. Patients must follow specific aftercare instructions such as rinsing with salt water and avoiding using straws until the teeth are properly healed, as these practices help to prevent complications and minimize the chance of infection.