I have a terrible fear of going to the dentist yet I know I need to. What should I do?
If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone – many people avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. The first thing you should do is talk with your dentist. Here at Jme Dental it is our priority to make nervous or anxious patients as comfortable as possible. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist knows what your fears are, he or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable.
What is an abscess?
An abscess of the tooth is an infection. An abscess can include pus and swelling of the soft gum tissues surrounding the tooth. An abscess can develop from tooth decay or tooth trauma, such as a broken tooth. If there is an opening in the enamel of a tooth, such as a cavity, bacteria can get in and infect the pulp (centre) of the tooth and cause an abscess. Once an abscess happens, the infection could spread throughout the mouth and body. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, you should see your Dentist right away.
What is tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity means experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot drinks, cold drinks, ice cream or even when brushing or flossing. Several factors can contribute to tooth sensitivity including cavities, gum disease, a fractured tooth or worn enamel. The good news is that it can be treated. Your Dentist would be happy to discuss options with you.
When should I take my child for his/her first dental check-up?
It is a good idea to take your child for routine dental check-ups even when he/she is too young to have teeth. This helps your child get familiar with the people and the surroundings at the dental clinic. The Dentist can quickly count how many teeth have erupted or spot any signs of early decay. Quick check-ups like this help to encourage good cooperation with the Dentist when your child is older. Children usually need dental visits at more regular intervals than adults as milk teeth are smaller and have thinner enamel than permanent teeth so decay can spread very quickly. Reducing sugar in your child’s diet, good brushing techniques and fissure sealants are the best way to prevent tooth decay.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. It occurs naturally in most water sources. Studies show that fluoride reduces cavities in people of all ages and is effective and safe when used correctly. The correct use of fluoride has been said to have dramatically reduced tooth decay over the past few decades.
What to do if a tooth is accidentally knocked out?
First thing is to find the tooth. Handle the tooth by the Crown, not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Inspect the tooth for fractures. If it is sound try to reinsert it in the socket. Have the patient hold it in place by biting down upon some gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing the patient's saliva or milk. The patient must see a Dentist immediately! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth.
Mouthguards and Sports – Are mouthguards really necessary?
The type of mouthguard you chose to wear could impact the level of protection you will receive when involved in an accident related to contact sports play. Custom-fit mouthguards are obtained through your dental practice. Available in as little as one week, the first appointment involves taking an impression of the teeth to be sent to the dental laboratory where the mouthguard will be fabricated. The laminate offers the necessary protection, yet is thin enough to allow for optimum air intake, a critical necessity for players. Custom mouthguards allow for slight adjustments as requested by the players to satisfy their preference. Regardless of the type of mouthguard you choose, the quality of the protection is totally related to the quality of the product you are putting in your mouth. Anybody that participates in sports, especially contact sports, should be wearing mouthguards at any age level and even non-contact sports should consider it.
My teeth have suddenly become very sensitive to both hot and cold, but my mouth is otherwise healthy. What could cause this?
Receding gum tissue could be the cause of sensitivity. As gum tissue pulls back away from teeth, the root of the tooth becomes exposed. A soft tissue graft would be the recommended treatment. Other treatment suggestions might include using a fluoride mouth rinse or switching to a toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth. Visit your dentist to so that you can be diagnosed and treated properly.
How does long-term smoking impact oral health?
For one, smoking increases your risk of oral cancer. Other oral health consequences include delayed healing following tooth extraction and periodontal treatment, increased bone loss within the jaw, bad breath, and tooth discoloration.
My dentures don't feel as comfortable as they once did. What should I do?
First, never try to change the shape of your dentures yourself in the hopes of making them fit better. You can cause damage that will make the denture unrepairable. Your gums and the bone supporting them changes shape as you age, so your dentures may begin to feel loose. Because dentures are made to fit perfectly, if you do feel a looseness, chances are your dentures will need to be adjusted to make them fit properly again as your mouth shape changes. See your dentist as soon as possible. In an emergency, use a denture adhesive to keep your dentures stable until your appointment.
Can medications that I am taking affect my dental treatment?
Yes, medications can impact your dental health. In fact, each time you visit your dentist, be sure to give him or her complete, up-to-date information about any recent hospitalizations or surgery, recent illnesses and/or any changes in your health since your last visit, and any changes in any medications you may be taking. Regarding medications, be sure to write down and bring with you a list of the names of current drugs you are taking, their dosages, and frequency of use. Include any over-the-counter products you may be using as well as any herbal products and supplements. All of these issues will need to be considered by your dentist in order to devise a safe and effective treatment plan for you.
How safe are dental x-rays?
Exposure to all sources of radiation - including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental x-rays - can damage the body's tissues and cells and can lead to the development of cancer in some instances. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of x-rays is extremely small. Advances in dentistry over the years have lead to the low radiation levels emitted by today's x-rays. Some of the improvements are new digital x-ray machines that limit the radiation beam to the small area being x-rayed, higher speed x-ray films that require shorter exposure time compared with older film speeds to get the same results, and the use of film holders that keep the film in place in the mouth (which prevents the film from slipping and the need for repeat x-rays and additional radiation exposure). Also, the use of lead-lined, full-body aprons protects the body from stray radiation.