Posts for: June, 2016
As one of the major focal points of the face, the teeth tend to take priority when it comes to oral health care, and rightfully so. A damaged or discolored set of teeth can cause a great deal of embarrassment and anxiety, and even interfere with nutrition and speech in many cases. The gums don't usually get as much attention until there's a problem like bleeding, an infection, or noticeable recession. Otherwise, most people prefer that the gums remain neatly and cooperatively out of sight (no one wants a "gummy" smile, after all).
But the gums play a vital role in oral as well as general health, and can hold clues to potential risks and dangers to the teeth, as well as to our overall health. In fact, in addition to gum disease, oral bacteria related to periodontitis has been linked to an increased risk of complications related to serious illnesses like diabetes, stroke, and cardiac disease. As such, preventing gum disease and maintaining oral hygiene should be an important component of a total health and wellness plan.
Early Detection with Laser Dentistry in Portage
Like all tissue, cells, and organs in the body, the early signs of gum disease and oral cancer are usually invisible to the naked eye, and can be hard to miss until they are more advanced and begin to produce symptoms. To help address this problem, Dr. David Wadas, a dentist in Portage, MI is taking advantage of medical laser technology to offer patients more thorough and precise dentistry services. Dental lasers can be used to both diagnose early stage cancer cells and tooth decay, as well as to treat common oral health problems like canker sores, ulcers, and even small cavities. Lasers offer dentists a degree of control and precision that can make common procedures, like drilling for cavities, less invasive.
Laser Dentistry in Portage
For more information on how laser dentistry works, and whether you can benefit from it, contact Dr. David Wadas, by calling (269) 323-1802 to schedule an appointment today.
For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.
Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.
If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.
If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.
When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.
When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment.Â Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.
And as for Noah Galloway:Â In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!
If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”
Great oral hygiene is built on two principal tasks — daily brushing and flossing. Brushing removes plaque — a thin film of bacteria and food particles — from broad tooth surfaces. Flossing removes plaque between your teeth you can’t reach effectively with brushing. It takes both tasks to get the most disease prevention benefit from your daily cleaning.
Many people, though, have a hard time incorporating the latter of the two into their daily routine. This may be because manual flossing with string seems to require a bit more manual dexterity, although it can be mastered with proper training and practice. Some, though, may not possess the physical ability to adequately floss. It’s also difficult for individuals wearing orthodontic braces or other appliances that cover teeth.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative to string floss: oral irrigation. This method removes plaque from between teeth with pulsating water pressurized by either a handheld or countertop device known as an oral irrigator or water flosser, and emitted through a special nozzle directed at the teeth. Studies have shown it to be an effective means for controlling plaque.
As to you switching to a home water flosser, we’ll be happy to discuss if it’s a good option for you. We can also train you on effective techniques for string flossing if you don’t feel you’re doing it properly.
Whichever method you use, it’s important for you to floss daily to keep plaque under control between your teeth. Along with brushing and regular dental visits, it’s one of the best things you can do to ensure your teeth stay healthy and free of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.
If you would like more information on flossing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning Between Your Teeth.”