Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Keep a Healthy and Happy Mouth this Summer

Tips to Keep a Healthy Mouth this Summer

Summer is officially here! Don’t take a vacation from your oral health. In addition to brushing and flossing, try these helpful tips on maintaining a healthy mouth during the hot summer months.

Drink Plenty of Water

Along with summer come the temptations to sip on ice-cold lemonade, seasonal cocktails or refreshing beer, but it's important to remember to drink plenty of water. Not only will water keep you hydrated, but it also helps to diminish bad breath and tooth decay. Dry mouth from lack of water leads to a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods and drinks you consume to acids. The acids begin to attack the enamel on your teeth, which leads to tooth decay. Remembering to drink water throughout the summer days will wash away bacteria and keep your teeth and gums healthy. 

Smart Snacking

Fresh fruits are your best choice when it comes to the perfect summer snack. It's important to choose the right ones for the best oral health. Firm or crunchy fruits, such as apples and pears, have a high water content which weakens the effects of the sugars they contain. They also promote the flow of saliva, which washes away food particles and helps protect against tooth decay. Watermelon is another good choice due to its high water content. It is best to avoid citrus fruits that contain a lot of acid because this can lead to erosion of the tooth enamel. Eating citrus fruits as part of a larger meal can reduce the acid from them.

Swim Smart

The high chlorine content in many swimming pools can lead to erosion and weakening of the teeth. Too much exposure can also lead to “swimmer’s calculus”. This occurs when yellowish-brown or dark brown stains appear on the teeth from the added chemicals in the water. The added chemicals give the water a higher pH than your saliva which breaks down the salivary proteins and forms organic deposits on the teeth. This can typically be removed by visiting your dentist. To avoid the harmful effects of spending too much time in the pool, remember to brush your teeth following the activity to reduce the damage.

Playing Outdoors

Summertime means that a lot of your time will be spent outdoors. Whether you are out on the boat, hiking or spending your day at the beach it’s important to remember your oral health. Sugar-free gum is a good solution to avoid bad breath when you aren’t near your toothbrush. Gum prevents the mouth from becoming dry and helps increase saliva flow that rinses away bacteria. Sugarless gum also helps to remove food that becomes stuck to your teeth.

Omni Dental Group wishes everyone an enjoyable and safe summer and we hope you keep these tips in mind to maintain a healthy and happy mouth!

Feel free to give us a call for any of your summer mouth questions or needs!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

NBA Play-Off Mouth Guards a Reminder to All Athletes

Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment in contact sports.  They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in sports such as:
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Wrestling
  • Basketball
  • Baseball/Softball
  • Soccer
  • …any sport where contact is a possibility.

Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent against structural damage to your teeth and jaw and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips.  Mouth guards have also been shown to help decrease the risk of concussions.

Mouth guards are available in mostly any sporting goods store, but you should be careful when purchasing a mouth guard.  Mouth guards like this do not offer the best level of protection.  They are also usually ill-fitting and uncomfortable.

For the highest level of comfort and protection, you should visit your dentist for a custom mouth guard fitting.  A custom mouth guard is created specifically for the optimal protection of YOUR mouth.  It is created with thin plastic that is hardened to protect your teeth.  The thinness of the custom mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication (especially important for you star quarterbacks calling out the signals).

See your dentist today for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and ensure that you maintain the highest level of performance on the field, court, or rink.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Temporamandibular Disorder


TMJ is the acronym for temporomandibular joint, which connects your lower jaw (the mandible) to your skull at the temporal bone. This joint controls many jaw functions, like chewing. If the chewing muscles or the joint itself are causing you pain you may have temporamandibular disorder, or TMD. TMD can be caused by stress, continual clenching of the jaw muscles, or teeth grinding.
Some of the symptoms of TMD are:

·         Pain when opening or closing mouth
·         Trouble chewing
·         Jaw becoming stuck open or shut
·         Headaches or ear pain
·         Clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth
·         Teeth Grinding

Many of these symptoms can often be associated with other health problems, so only a medical professional can tell you if it is due to TMD. Teeth grinding is an especially problematic symptom because it can lead to further problems. Prolonged teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause enamel to wear off teeth and expose dentin. This material is softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink may also develop from excessive teeth grinding.

If you suspect you may have TMD come in for a consultation. We can help diagnose you and provide relief for your symptoms. Pain relievers and hot/cold compresses are short term methods to provide relief for pain symptoms. A night guard can be used to help prevent or lessen the effects of teeth grinding at night. This can lead to a more permanent solution. In very severe cases of TMD surgery may be required, but behavioral treatments to change the way you use your jaw muscles are usually enough to provide relief.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

"Partial Crowns"

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are often referred to as partial crowns. They use the existing tooth as a base and fit the inlay or onlay onto the tooth. This is done to strengthen the tooth, restore its shape, and prevent further damage. An inlay is done when there is no damage to the cusps of the tooth and the inlay can be placed right on the tooth. An onlay is used when the damage is a little more extensive.

The decayed area of the tooth is first removed during the procedure. A mold of the tooth is then taken and sent to a dental lab. They create a restoration made from porcelain, gold, or a composite resin. The restoration takes about 2-3 weeks to make, so a temporary inlay or onlay will be placed on the tooth for that time. During your next visit the inlay or onlay will be placed into your mouth and set with cement. Your tooth will look natural and you or anyone else won't be able to tell the difference.

Monday, May 4, 2015

What exactly is Endodontics?

Root Canal (Endodontics)

Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canals are probably the most notorious procedure in dentistry and the most common procedure relating to endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves need to be removed. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw.

The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. The dentist will then drill down into the tooth to create an opening into the canal. They will then be able to remove infected tissue and clean the canal. After the infection has been removed, the space if filled with a sealant called gutta percha. It is highly recommended that a tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, and will also make it much more likely that the root canal is successful.

"Root canal" has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less "scary". Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures. Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe medication. The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard. If you are experiencing pain consult your dentist today.