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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fleetwood Dental’s Guide to Common Dental Problems: Part 2

Getting extensive dental work like a root canal isn’t anyone’s idea of a walk in the park, which is why it is important to pay attention to common dental problems so you can prevent them. A few weeks ago, we posted the first part of our guide to common dental problems. Here is part 2!

Tooth Infection: Tooth infection occurs when the nerve-containing pulp inside the tooth is damaged or becomes infected due to injury or decay. The root canal (which connects the top pulp chamber to the tip of the root) can become infected as well. If you have a cracked tooth or a deep cavity you should be weary of tooth infection.
See your best dentist if you feel pain in or around a tooth. You may need to get a root canal, during which the pulp will be removed, the pulp chamber and the root canal will be cleaned and the tooth will be filled. Your dentist also may seal the tooth with a porcelain or golf crown.

Enamel Erosion: This occurs when soda and citrus drinks wear down the surface of the teeth, resulting in discoloration and rounding. If you are constantly sipping soda (even diet soda!), lemonade, sports drinks or wine, you are at risk for enamel erosion. Overbrushing can also have similar effects on the enamel close to the gum lines.

To prevent further enamel erosion, drink less soda and more water! If you must have your daily Diet Coke, sip it through a straw or have with a full meal and be sure to chew sugarless gum, sip water or brush your teeth afterward. Teeth can also be restored with bonding materials.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fleetwood Dental’s Guide to Common Dental Problems: Part I

Dental health isn’t just important for your pearly whites—it can affect your overall health, which is why is it imperative to know how to treat common dental problems. Read the first part of our guide to solving common issues plaguing your mouth.

Tooth Decay: Otherwise known as dental cavities or caries, this occurs when plaque—a film of bacteria that forms after eating starches or sugars—remains on teeth for too long. Although anyone can get a cavity, children and older people are most cavity-prone.

So how do you prevent tooth decay? Stop plaque in its tracks by brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. For children, plastic coatings called sealants can be applied to the chewing surfaces on their back teeth as soon as their molars come in. As for older people, using a mouth rinse containing fluoride and receiving regular fluoride treatments should help.

Gum Disease: Also known as gingivitis (the early stage) and periodontitis (the advanced stage), gum disease is a bacterial infection caused by plaque attacking the gums, bone and ligaments that keep your teeth where they are. According to estimations by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), half of all adults show some signs of gingivitis. Stress, poor oral hygiene, pregnancy and systemic diseases like diabetes can contribute.

Make sure to see a dentist regularly and notify your dentist if your gums bleed or feel tender. Regular brushing and flossing can reverse gingivitis and a dentist can perform a deep cleaning around the teeth and below the gum lines to combat periodontitis.