Why Are Your Teeth Sensitive?

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Sensitive teeth can prevent you from indulging in countless treats that may be too hot or too cold. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, tooth sensitivity affects around 40 million people in the United States. If you suffer from this condition, it is important to understand its causes and learn how to prevent it. Why are my teeth sensitive? Tooth sensitivity stems from a loss of enamel and an exposing of a tooth’s dentin. Dentin, the layer of the tooth found just below its enamel encasing, is comprised of many minuscule nerve endings. When dentin is exposed the nerves found within it are no longer protected. An exposure to certain foods and beverages (hot, cold, sticky, or acidic) can trigger the nerve endings and cause discomfort. What causes tooth sensitivity? Sensitive teeth can be the result of a number of issues including: Forceful Brushing: While brushing your teeth is essential […]

Root Canal Therapy

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Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function. Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth. Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections. Signs and symptoms for possible root […]

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function. Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth. Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections. Signs and symptoms for possible root […]

Maintenance

In only twenty four hours, plaque that has been allowed to remain on your teeth can turn into calculus (tartar)!  It’s important for you to carefully clean your teeth daily to minimize the accumulation of plaque and tartar, but every mouth has hard to reach areas that will need special attention. When your periodontal examination and / or treatment has been completed, your dental hygienist and dentist will recommend that you schedule regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings).  Dentists usually recommend that these sessions be scheduled two to four times per year.  During each of these cleaning appointments, the sulcus (or “pocket”) depths will be carefully evaluated to ensure that they remain healthy.  Any areas of calculus or plaque that have slipped by your daily cleaning regimen will be removed, both from above and below the gum line. Besides periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your regular appointments will usually include: • Careful […]

Treatment

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Methods of treatment for periodontal disease will depend on the type and severity of the disease.  Your dental hygienist and dentist will evaluate your teeth and gums for periodontal disease, and when needed, they will recommend appropriate specialized treatment. Periodontal disease occurs when the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gum becomes filled with plaque, tartar, and bacteria.  This accumulation causes irritation to the tissues surrounding the teeth.  When these irritants are allowed to remain in place, they cause damage to the gums. As the disease progresses, they eventually damage the bone that supports the teeth! When the disease is detected in the early stage (called gingivitis), before permanent damage is done, treatment may be as simple as one or two careful cleanings by a skilled dental hygienist.  In such a case, the patient will also be given detailed instructions on ways of improving daily oral hygiene habits—and […]

Diagnosis

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A diagnosis of periodontal disease is made by your dentist or dental hygienist in the course of a periodontal examination.  Every regular dental check-up should include this sort of evaluation. To evaluate the health of the gums, a small dental instrument called a periodontal probe is gently utilized to measure the sulcus (the space or “pocket”) between the gum and each tooth.  A healthy sulcus should not measure more than three millimeters, and should not bleed. The periodontal probe enables your dentist or dental hygienist to determine whether pockets are deeper than three millimeters.  These pockets usually grow deeper as periodontal disease progresses. Your dentist or dental hygienist will evaluate pocket depths, extent of inflammation (if any), tooth mobility, amount of bleeding, etc., to reach a diagnosis that will fall into one or more of the  categories listed below: Gingivitis The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis.  It occurs […]

What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

The term “periodontal” literally means “around the tooth.”  Periodontal disease (sometimes called periodontitis or just “gum disease”) is an inflammatory condition which attacks the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the gums teeth, and (in advanced cases) even of the jawbones. Periodontal disease is usually preceded by gingivitis. This is a bacterial infection of the gum tissues.  Bacterial infections are able to penetrate the gums when the toxins produced in plaque irritate and cause inflammation of the gum tissues.  If this bacterial infection succeeds in colonizing in the gum pockets between the teeth, it can be very difficult to remove and treat. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition, and if left uncontrolled, it will eventually lead to the destruction of the connective tissue holding the teeth in place. In severe cases, it can even result in destruction the jawbone.  When allowed to progress, it may result in teeth shifting their […]

Periodontal Disease

The meaning of the word periodontal is “around the tooth”.  Periodontal disease occurs when the gums and jaw bone deteriorate, thereby damaging the natural support for the teeth. The most common cause of periodontal disease is plaque—a sticky film composed of food debris, saliva, and bacteria.  If plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth, it quickly transforms into calculus (also called “tartar”).  When calculus and plaque remain on the teeth, they can cause destruction of the gums and underlying bone.  Periodontal disease is typically characterized by gums that are red, swollen, and bleeding. Eighty per-cent of people—that’s 4 out of 5—are to some degree afflicted with periodontal disease, and many of them don’t even know it!  That’s because in the early stages, the disease is usually painless. Research shows that periodontal disease is the leading reason for tooth loss. In fact, there is convincing evidence that periodontal disease may […]