How to know?
A root canal is a dental procedure that cleans the inside of a tooth when the pulp in the tooth has become infected. This could happen due to:
- A tooth abscess
- Needing a crown
- Severe tooth decay
- Facial/mouth/tooth trauma
- Cracked tooth and/or filling
Often a patient will notice tooth pain, extreme temperature sensitivity in the tooth, swelling and soreness, and even discoloration in an infected tooth. If you’re experiencing these symptoms – call your dentist, as the pain may be resolved with a root canal.
What to Expect on a Dental Check-Up
Before that next dental check-up, there are some things you should be sure you do, especially if this will be your first visit to a new dental office.
Gather information about your health history, including medications you are taking and contact information for your most recent doctor and dentist and if there’s a root canal.
Request your former dentist transfer your records to your new provider. Sometimes they will require a form, fax number or email address. Help foster the transfer so your new dentist has a complete picture of your dental history.
Let them know if you have health concerns such as pregnancy, diabetes, epilepsy, or special needs, so they can best support you.
Be sure to mention any concerns you have or accommodations you may require, including dental anxiety. Fear of the dentist is common and your dental team can help make your checkup more comfortable.
Follow your normal dental routine, and if you need to eat before your appointment, then eat. You can always brush your teeth at the dentist when you arrive if needed. Give yourself extra time to arrive for your first appointment so you can complete paperwork and be in a calm state of mind.
Did you know what causes Bad Breath?
Also called halitosis, bad breath can be caused by a number of issues. Food.
Some of the foods we eat can give us temporary bad breath. Garlic, onions, coffee, spicy or fragrant foods can leave your mouth less than fresh. Brush your teeth, chew sugar-free gum, or use mouthwash for a burst of freshness.
Like smoking and tobacco use not only cause bad breath, they can create oral cancers, stain teeth and irritate your gums. Consider a tobacco-free lifestyle to reduce the negative effects.
Bad breath can be caused by dental issues such as gum disease or cavities. Crowded teeth or ill-fitting dental appliances can also cause bad breath. See your dentist to rule out any oral care issues as a culprit.
When to Know if You Need to See a Dentist
If at any point you experience pain or changes in your mouth such as hot and cold sensitivity, aching, or throbbing, this should be an indication that you should see a dentist—especially if the pain is affecting your everyday activities. Sometimes the changes in your mouth can affect your ability to sleep, eat, and talk, and that’s a sure sign that something is off and you need to see your dentist. If your denture, bridge, or appliance isn’t fitting as well as it used to.
If you have dentures, a bridge, or an appliance, you should see your dentist if it feels loose or is not fitting as well as it used to. It may be time for an adjustment to help it fit like new again. Your mouth can change over time, and your dentures or other appliances should be regularly checked to ensure they’re still fitting well in your mouth.
You notice bleeding when you’re brushing or flossing.
It is normal for your gums to bleed a little bit when you begin to establish a flossing routine. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few weeks or you notice bleeding when brushing your teeth, it may be an indication of a periodontal issue that, if not treated, can lead to bigger issues down the road such as gum disease.
How to Prevent Dry Mouth While Sleeping
If you suffer from dry mouth, you’re not alone. While estimates vary widely, it’s safe to say millions of people experience dry mouth at some point. If you are one of them, you know night time is often the worst, waking up parched, and without relief can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Not only is it annoying and often painful, but chronic dry mouth can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease if untreated. Wouldn’t it be nice to learn how to prevent dry mouth while sleeping and find some relief?
But, why is it so bad at night? Many times you can blame mouth breathing for it. While the best cure for dry mouth is to address any underlying health issues, that can take time and most people need more immediate solutions. Consider these solutions:
- Drink water throughout the day – stay hydrated
- Chew sugar-free gum, or suck on sugar-free candies or mints to help increase saliva
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste
- Use mouthwashes, rinses and/or toothpaste designed for dry mouth
- Use an artificial saliva product, either over-the-counter or prescribed by your doctor or dentist
- Avoid acidic or spicy foods which can make it worse
- Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake, especially at night
- Quit smoking
Tooth Sensitivity to Cold? To Hot? To Sweets? See this!
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity can come and go with time and is usually caused by exposed dentin on root areas from gum disease and/or receded gums. Unlike the crowns of your teeth, the root area of your tooth isn’t protected by enamel, but rather cementum. When the enamel or cementum wears away the nerves within the tooth are exposed which can cause tooth sensitivity. Common causes of erosion include:
- Overzealous teeth brushing
- Use of abrasive toothpaste
- An acidic diet
- Acid reflux disease
- Excessive teeth whitening
- Teeth grinding
- Dry mouth
How to Treat Tooth Sensitivity
Talk to your dentist about any tooth pain or tooth sensitivity to cold, hot, acidic or sweet drinks or foods. Tooth decay and cavities should be ruled out or treated. Your dentist may recommend an ADA approved desensitizing toothpaste or fluoride gel toothpaste for use at home. With more severe cases of tooth sensitivity, a filling, a gum graft or a root canal may be required.
Does Sugar is the Cause of Cavities?
What is a Cavity?
A cavity, also called dental caries, is a hole in a tooth where the tooth enamel has broken down due to decay. Decay is caused when plaque – a sticky bacteria that forms naturally in the digestive process – builds upon the tooth. When left for long periods of time, that plaque can cause decay, causing a cavity. Left untreated, a cavity can create a hole through the tooth and expose nerve endings creating significant pain. It can also create the need for a root canal or even result in tooth loss.
Does Sugar Cause Cavities?
No, sugar doesn’t cause cavities, bacteria cause cavities. But, sugar digestion does create bacteria, which, if not properly managed, will lead to not just cavities but also gum disease and may even result in tooth loss. Whenever we eat food, acids are created by our body to break down the food to assist in digestion. These acids demineralize our teeth. Thankfully, our teeth are re-mineralized by brushing our teeth, drinking fluoridated water, and even our own saliva. The bottom line? It’s ok to indulge in some sugary treats as long as proper care is taken to reduce the presence of bacteria that cause cavities.
To prevent cavities, you don’t need to give up sugar, but you do need to stay on top of good oral care; especially after holidays like Halloween. For both kids and adults, the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash daily, using sugar-free gum between meals, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year.
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