06 Oct 2016
Tooth sensitivity can be both a quality of life issue as well as signify a need for professional treatment from a dentist. Having sensitive teeth can make drinking a hot or cold beverage very uncomfortable. In fact, sometimes enjoying a hot bowl of soup or even a spoonful of ice cream is unbearable. While tooth sensitivity can affect your dietary habits, it doesn’t have to become a permanent part of your life. There are measures you can take to reduce sensitivity and treatments are available that can increase the health of your teeth while offsetting uncomfortable symptoms.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
A few different things can cause sensitive teeth. Sometimes, patients whose gums have receded due to vigorous brushing practices or gum disease can experience sensitivity. This is because the roots of teeth aren’t coated with tooth enamel and therefore more prone to sensitivity because the tubules inside dentin are more likely to be exposed to debris and bacteria.
Thinning tooth enamel due to damage, disease, or developmental issues is also a common cause for tooth sensitivity. As with the roots of teeth exposed to debris and bacteria, thin or weak enamel can make the tubules of dentin quite sensitive to temperate foods and beverages.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
One thing patients can try at home is to avoid overly hot or cold drinks and food. We recommend that patients also avoid brushing to hard or vigorously as it can cause the gums to pull away from teeth. Toothpastes formulated for sensitive teeth may also be helpful as they contain ingredients that help seal the outside of teeth to prevent discomfort.
What are my treatment options?
If our dentist determines that a patient requires treatment for sensitive teeth, restorations may be necessary to strengthen tooth structure and prevent future damage from decay or breakage. Sealing the outer surface of a tooth may also be a method of treatment that can reduce discomfort.
To learn more about your treatment options, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
Dry mouth can be uncomfortable and can occur for numerous reasons. Illness, medications, and certain medical treatments can result in dry mouth … anxiety can lead to that dry, sticky feeling as well. If you experience dry mouth frequently, you may be suffering from xerostomia. There are solutions; a visit with your dentist will help to diagnose what is at the base of your dry mouth and things you can do to bring relief.
If you have suffered a medical problem or illness, your medication or treatment rendered could result in a dry mouth. Your dental professional may be able to find an alternative medication to ease the problem.
Patients that suffer with allergies or cold symptoms may take an antihistamine or decongestant. The ingredients in these types of drugs will not only dry out your sinuses, but will work on your mouth and throat too. Running a fever can dry the mouth also … consuming lots of fluids are recommended when these conditions are present.
When you are nervous or anxious, you might experience the sensation of a dry mouth. This is often temporary, and when you relax your saliva production problem may be resolved.
Thinking that your dry mouth is no big deal could be a mistake … there are problems beyond basic thirst that could occur if dry mouth is allowed to continue. You could develop mouth sores, chapped lips, a dry or sore throat and/or tongue, and chronic bad breath. The risk of developing dental decay or gum disease increases as well.
These problems associated with dry mouth are due to a lack of saliva production. Think of saliva as the body’s personal mouth wash continually cleansing the mouth of harmful bacteria. Saliva glands can often be coaxed into working by sucking on sugar free candy or chewing sugar free gum. Staying hydrated with water is helpful; avoid caffeinated beverages.
Brush with a fluoridated tooth paste to keep teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Your dentist will be able to recommend an over the counter saliva substitute to help as well.
The problems associated with dry mouth often increase as we age. This can make wearing partials and dentures difficult, so make sure to discuss your concerns with your dentist.
For more information or to schedule your next dental exam, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today.
If you seem to have similar problems with the health of your teeth and gums that your parents did, it’s probably not your imagination. There is a genetic component to oral health.
Your DNA can influence a variety of aspects of your oral health, from the strength of your enamel to your susceptibility to gum disease to even the composition of your saliva. All of these factors work in concert to affect oral health concerns like tooth decay.
In fact, researchers have found that more than half of your risk of tooth decay is likely related to genetics. So, if your parents had a lot of cavities, it’s likely that you might have that problem, too.
As a result, your dentist may ask you about your family’s history of oral diseases to pinpoint any potential issues related to genetics.
Additionally, there is a genetic component to the shape of your facial structures and your teeth. For example, you may share your mother’s narrow jaw, which can lead to crowding of your smile. Your dentist may explore this aspect of your family history, as well.
Genetics are not the sole determinant of your oral health, though. Your oral hygiene habits play an important role, as well. Regular brushing and flossing, using proper technique, can help to overcome any genetic issues that could compromise your oral health.
Your diet matters, too. Limit sweet treats and acidic foods and beverages, like soda, that can accelerate tooth decay as well.
Semiannual appointments with your dentist also are essential to protecting your oral health, especially if you have a family history of oral diseases. These regular check-ups monitor your teeth and gums for signs of problems in their earliest stages when they can be most readily treated.
As is the case with your overall health, your genetic make-up has a significant amount of influence over your oral health. However, you still can take steps to reduce your risk of issues like cavities and gum disease. Check in with one of our knowledgeable staff members to learn more about your genetic risks and how you can protect yourself against them. Contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today to schedule your visit.
04 May 2015
If preserving a beautiful healthy smile is a top priority for you, make it a priority to schedule your routine preventive dental care appointments and follow up with a robust oral hygiene routine at home.
When you schedule appointments for cleanings and check-ups at least every six months, the relatively brief interval between visits gives your dentist ample opportunity to identify potential issues in their earliest stages, when the treatment is least invasive and most effective.
For example, if the dentist detects a very small cavity, it likely can be addressed with just a small filling. If the decay progresses, the patient may eventually need a crown or even possibly lose the tooth.
In some cases, these semi-annual exams may be life-saving in addition to benefiting the smile’s aesthetics. They include screenings for serious issues such as oral cancer. When a dentist diagnoses a malignancy in its earliest stages before it has spread, the patient’s prognosis is much better.
In addition to exams, prophylaxis (the technical term for professional cleanings) are instrumental in safeguarding your smile, too.
In addition to exams, prophylaxis (the technical term for professional cleanings) are instrumental in safeguarding your smile, too. In fact, that very word means “protective”.
A hygienist’s cleanings can be highly effective in clearing away any bacteria and plaque that remain on your teeth despite your most diligent efforts to remove them via your home oral hygiene regimen. The hygienist can use specialized instruments and is able to reach surfaces that are largely inaccessible to you directly.
Remember that not all preventive care takes place in the dental office, though. In the months between your exams and professional cleanings, follow your dentist’s recommendations for brushing and flossing at home. The professionals involved in your care can give you guidance on proper technique and make recommendations for any steps beyond brushing and flossing that may benefit you.
Take steps to obtain preventive oral health care if you want to maintain a healthy, stellar smile. If it’s been more than six months since your last routine appointment, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 as soon as possible to schedule an exam and cleaning.