Emergency Dental Care

Category Archives: Tooth Pain

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.

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

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

Common Oral Health Problems

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A healthy mouth and positive oral health is good for the body and important for a person’s overall health. This includes taking care of the mouth, gums, and teeth and this is a goal that’s worthy in and of itself. Maintaining good oral health can help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and even bad breath. It also is key to in order to help keep teeth in older age. Although no one likes to have dental health problems, many are easily treated and preventable with proper oral hygiene habits, a good diet, and regular visits to the dentist. Some of the most common oral problems are:

Bad Breath

Bad breath in the chronic form is known as halitosis. This is caused many times by oral problems such as cavities, gum disease, and bacteria.

Tooth Decay

Next to the common cold, in the United States, tooth decay is the second most prevalent disease. Tooth decay can be caused by plaque buildup, which can be treated and even prevented with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits.  Continue reading

More Americans Head To the ER for Dental Emergencies

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When you suffer from unexpected pain and can’t see your regular doctor, your first instinct is likely to visit the emergency room. The Health Policy Institute found that the number of patients visiting the ER for a dental problem increased by 4% between 1997 and 2007. The same organization also found that more than 1% of all ER visits in a single year occurred because of dental pain or dental problems. While you might think that the doctors working in the emergency room can treat your problem and make the pain disappear, there is little that those doctors can actually do.

What Can ER Doctors Do?

If you break your leg in an accident at home, the doctor working in the emergency room will give you something for the pain, set your leg and send you home with some medication. Those doctors have lots of experience with people suffering from various medical conditions, but the doctors on staff do not have experience treating dental conditions. You may receive a prescription painkiller designed to numb some of the pain that you feel, but the hospital may only give you a mild painkiller. If the doctor discovers any inflammation in your mouth, he or she may prescribe an antibiotic and recommend that you see a dentist as soon as possible. Continue reading

Are Cavities Contagious?

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You would be surprised to know that cavities are contagious. Cavities are permanent small holes in a tooth and are a result of tooth decay. There are three types of cavities, which are coronal and root cavities, and recurrent decay. The hole can get bigger if it is not repaired and treated. This can become a serious matter that can not only destroy the tooth, but can also kill delicate nerves. A sticky, slimy film called plaque causes cavities, but it is a combination of factors that causes it. Bacteria in the mouth, frequent snacking, eating carbohydrates and drinking sugary drinks, and not cleaning teeth well, allow the bacteria to produce acids that stick to plaque and then attack tooth enamel. Plaque accumulates on teeth as soon as 20 minutes after eating. Tooth decay can begin quickly and cavities can be contagious. Continue reading

Treating Gum Disease

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Gum disease is an oral condition often caused by poor oral hygiene, genetic predispositions or medical illness. It manifests itself with swollen gums and inflammation of the oral tissues. If left untreated, it can lead to premature tooth loss, medical complications and infections of several organs within the body.

The Causes of Gum Disease

Several factors can affect the health of the gums and teeth. The most common reasons are as follow:

1. Poor Oral Hygiene – It is the leading cause for gum disease. Improper oral habits, along with sporadic care at home and lack of professional cleanings, result in excessive amounts of plaque and tartar accumulations and harboring of bacteria.

2. Poor Nutrition – Diets high in carbohydrates and sugar accelerate the microbial formations in the mouth often affecting the health of the gums as well as the tooth structure and may lead to rampant decay.

3. Medications – Medically compromised patients are frequently administered drugs that produce several side effects including deterioration of the positive oral flora.  Continue reading

How to Soothe Painful Mouth Burns

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Eagerly biting into a steaming hot entree or quickly sipping a fresh cup of coffee can spell disaster for your mouth. Mouth burns can be excruciating. The thin, delicate layer of skin inside the mouth offers no real protection from heat, as it scorches vulnerable nerve endings. When the initial shock from the burn wears off, pain still may linger. Follow these simple directives to soothe irritating burns:

1.) First, determine the severity of the burn.

Symptoms of a first degree burn:

  • pain
  • redness
  • dryness
  • slight swelling

In a first degree burn the top layer of skin is affected, it may begin to peel within three to five days.

Symptoms of a second degree burn:

  • severe pain
  • redness
  • blistering

A second degree burn injures the first few layers of skin and has a higher risk of infection. Continue reading