Why Do Toothaches Hurt So Bad?

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If you’ve ever had a toothache, you don’t need us to tell you how painful it can be. For many, it is the most intense pain that they have ever experienced.

A toothache is the result when the nerve of a tooth has become infected. This infection is most commonly caused by a deep cavity, but can also be the result of a trauma to the tooth or a very severe case of periodontal disease. But why does an infected root cause such intense pain?

When your finger is infected, it swells up because of your body’s own immune response. This is possible because the tissues in your finger are relatively soft and flexible. When you have an infection in a tooth, the immune response is the same – but a tooth cannot swell up in the same way a finger can. The infection is caught inside the hard tissues of the tooth, causing extreme pressure. This is the reason for the intense toothache. When the pressure gets too high, the infection will start to work it’s way out of the tooth through the root and into the surrounding bone structure. From here it will continue to push it’s way out through the hard tissues. At this point the toothache is especially painful. Eventually you might develop an abscess, which can normally be seen in the mouth around the area of the root of the tooth which is infected. Sometimes the abscess is even outside the mouth under the chin. When the abscess bursts, the pressure is off, and many people feel instant relief from the toothache. This does not mean that the problem is solved, however. The reason for the toothache – the infection – is still there and treatment is still necessary.

There are only two ways of effectively treating an infected tooth. The first is root canal treatment, in which the dentist drills into the tooth and removes the infected tissue. If this is not possible, the tooth must be removed. In some cases it is necessary to combine the treatment with antibiotics.

No one should have to experience a toothache. They can easily be prevented by regular visits to the dentist, where we can spot small cavities or onset of periodontal disease before they progress to the point of causing toothache.

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Brushing your Teeth

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Everyone knows that frequent brushing is the most important thing you can do to prevent dirty, and ultimately, unhealthy teeth. But how can we make sure that we’re getting the most out of our brushing routine? Here’s a list of some things you may not, but should know about brushing.

  • You should brush your teeth for two minutes at a time, at least twice a day. I say at least because some days your teeth get dirtier than others. If you feel like you got food stuck in your teeth at lunch, or if your teeth feel dirty from drinking coffee or soda, for example, it is a good idea to brush your teeth, even if that means brushing your teeth three times a day or more.
  • You should replace your toothbrush once every three to four months, because frayed, worn-out bristles are less effective at cleaning teeth.
  • The most effective brushes are soft-bristled, with a small head. Soft bristles clean remove plaque and debris most effectively, and small headed brushes allow one to get into hard to reach spaces in the mouth where larger headed brushes may not fit.
  • Both manual and powered toothbrushes can be effective, but powered toothbrushes may be a solution for those who struggle with manual toothbrushes. We can help you make the right toothbrush choice for you.
  • There is a very specific proper tooth brushing technique. That is outlines in the following graphic from the American Dental Association

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What Toothpaste Do I Recommend?

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You hear it in toothpaste commercials all the time: 9 out of 10 dentists recommend so-and-so toothpaste. I don’t know who these dentists are, because no one has ever asked me what toothpaste I recommend, but if they did, my response would be this:

It depends on the patient. Different toothpastes are designed to meet different oral health needs. When buying toothpaste, it’s helpful to know what features you’re looking for in your toothpaste.

Tartar Control:

Made with pyrophosphates, zinc citrate, and triclosan, tartar control toothpaste is designed to break down plaque and prevent it from hardening and becoming tartar, which causes gum disease and is very hard to remove.

Whitening:

While these toothpastes are not designed to actually whiten your teeth, peroxides in them are supposed to polish your teeth, removing surface stains and enabling them to appear whiter.

Sensitivity:

Toothpastes for sensitive teeth are designed without many of the abrasive chemicals used in the above toothpastes. They commonly feature strontium chloride and potassium nitrate, which have been recognized by the ADA as effective in treating sensitive teeth and gums. When it comes to toothpaste for those with sensitive teeth, I would recommend Pronamel, which we carry at our office.

Natural:

For those who prefer more natural ingredients, there are a growing variety of natural toothpastes which use simple ingredients such as baking soda, stevia extracts, bamboo, and peppermint oil.

All that being said, there aren’t major differences between these types of toothpastes, and as long as the toothpaste is ADA approved, it’ll work just fine. The real work being done while brushing your teeth, however, is the action of brushing itself, which scrapes the bacteria and buildup off of your teeth. That is why proper brushing technique is so important!

Don’t Settle for Ill-Fitting Dentures, Get Snap-on Dentures Instead!

Traditional dentures suck. Literally, the way that they stay on, at least the top set, is by suctioning on to the roof of your mouth. The bottom set, however, given the structure of the human mouth, cannot suction in the same way as the top set, and therefore do not stay in place nearly as well, making eating, speaking, or even smiling challenging activities. So while top dentures literally suck, bottom dentures, well they just suck.

The traditional solution to this was, in a word, nothing. Dentures were made to fit the ridge on the bottom of one’s mouth, and this did an alright job, but if you or a loved one has ever worn dentures, you know that the bottom set slips around almost constantly.

That all changed with the development of snap-on dentures, which allow you to “snap” your denture on or off, providing previously impossible stability.

Here’s how it works: Our in-house oral surgeon drills implants into the bone at the bottom of your mouth (under heavy anesthesia, of course). The ends of these implants are then covered by rubber coatings which act as attachments that your bottom set of dentures can snap on and off of. And that’s it.

Snap-on dentures are a simple, effective solution for you or a loved one who is missing teeth that can be inserted painlessly by our skilled oral surgeons. Feel free to ask more questions by phone call or e-mail below.

(305) 383-9944 / anewsmiledentalcenter.com

 

 

Bruxism – The Slow Teeth Killer

Have you ever woken up with a headache or sore teeth that you couldn’t explain? You may be suffering from sleep bruxism, or teeth grinding. Bruxism can come and go at any stage of a person’s life, and the vast majority of the time is caused by prolonged emotional states of stress, anxiety, anger, frustration or tension. It can be a side effect of amphetamines to treat ADHD such as Adderall as well as of anti-depressants.

If your teeth are worn, damaged or sensitive, if you have pain in your jaw, face, or ear, if your partner mentions that you make a grinding noise while you sleep, or if you have a locked jaw that wont open or close completely, then you are probably suffering from sleep bruxism. For anyone suffering from bruxism, you do not need us to tell you how painful and frustrating its effects can be. The good news, however, is that it is easily treatable.

If a patient comes into the office with symptoms of bruxism, we will recommend a bite guard for you to wear on your top teeth while you sleep. We will then make a mold, send it to our lab, and within a few days we will provide you with a comfortable, custom-fit bite guard that you will barely notice is in your mouth. What you will notice, however, are pain free teeth and jaws that will last. If you or a loved may be suffering from bruxism, come in today for a free consultation, and feel free to submit any questions below!

anewsmiledentalcenter.com / (305) 383-9944

On Biofilm, The Nasty Cause of Gum Disease, and How to Fight It!

While you may not be familiar with biofilm, it has become quite a hot topic in dentistry. Biofilm forms when bacteria adhere to surfaces in some form of watery environment and begin to excrete a slimy, glue-like substance that can stick to all kinds of materials–metals, plastics, soil particles, medical implant materials, biological tissues. Essentially, a biofilm may form on any surface exposed to bacteria and some amount of water. In the household, clogged drains are caused by biofilm. In your mouth, biofilm causes tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Dental plaque is a yellowish biofilm that builds up on the teeth, that as mentioned, leads to gum disease. Gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease, is experienced by most Americans, while the more severe form, periodontitis is affects around 30%. Treatment of gum infections requires removal of the biofilm and tartar from the teeth and gums by surgical or nonsurgical procedures, followed by antibiotic therapy. These diseases, however, are often not responsive to antibiotics, resulting in them being chronic, or lifetime diseases. The best strategy is prevention.

This begs the question: How do we combat biofilm? The traditional methods, such as regular tooth brushing and flossing have been proven to greatly reduce your chances of developing gum disease, and when biofilm is not disrupted by brushing and flossing, it remains on your teeth and hardens, leading to permanent yellowness and disease.

So for those of you brushing and flossing, way to go, keep doing that! But for those of you who have just been claiming to floss when you come in for your appointments (we know who you are), we have some good news! There is now an easier option: the water flosser. Water flossers, such as the Waterpik, shoot a pressurized stream of water between the teeth and along the gum line, removing debris and biofilm that builds up throughout the day. Water flossing has been clinically proven to remove biofilm as well as traditional flossing, and it might be a better option for those who struggle to incorporate flossing into their routine. Water flossing is an exciting new development in the dental world that could transform your oral health. So if you know you need to start flossing to combat that nasty biofilm, but never get around to it, come try out a water flosser in our office!

anewsmiledentalcenter.com / (305) 383-9944

Veneers are Magic!

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What are your biggest complaints about the appearance of your teeth? Cracks or chips? Gaps? Shape? Length? What about staining that just won’t go away? Veneers are the affordable, non-invasive and pain-free solution you’ve been looking for.

A veneer is a small porcelain layer applied to the surface of your tooth that conceals any defects and provides you with the smile you always dreamed of. They have been proven to be extremely effective in improving the aesthetics of your smile. But don’t trust us, just Google “celebrity veneers” to see the incredible results that celebrities from Miley Cyrus to George Clooney have enjoyed.

If you’re considering veneers, here’s what to expect:

First, we make temporary acrylic veneers that we place on your teeth to aid you in your decision. Once you’re done sending selfies to friends and family and freaking out about how incredible your teeth look, we prepare your teeth for the real thing.

We polish and remove some tooth structure from the front of your teeth in order to make room for the veneers. The amount removed is dependent on the desired result and position of the teeth; overall the goal is to remove as little tooth structure as possible.

We then take a mold of your teeth. This mold is sent to the laboratory where the veneers are made. For the week or two that this takes, we will provide you with temporary acrylic veneers that, unlike the ones you tried on originally, can stay on for a few weeks and look and feel totally natural.

These are only temporary, however, so when the porcelain veneers are ready, you come back into the office and we cement on your beautiful new smile. The veneers will be physically bonded to your teeth in a manner so secure, it would take a dental drill or a laser to remove them. First, we “etch” both your teeth and the inside of the veneers with a mild acidic solution to open up tiny pores in both surfaces. We then apply translucent cement that forms microscopic tags that fit into these pores. It’s a seamless “micromechanical” attachment that will essentially make the tooth and veneer one unit.

And then you’re on your way, with a beautiful white smile that looks and feels totally natural! Call or book online to see if veneers are right for you!

anewsmiledentalcenter.com / (305) 383-9944