Posts for: December, 2017
While out with friends one evening, you take a bite of ice cream. Suddenly, pain shoots through your teeth. It only lasts a second, but it's enough to ruin your good time.
This could be tooth sensitivity, a painful reaction to hot or cold foods. It often occurs when the enamel in prolonged contact with acid has eroded. Acid is a waste product of bacteria found in plaque, a thin film of food particles that builds up on tooth surfaces due to inadequate brushing and flossing. Enamel normally mutes temperature or pressure sensation to the underlying dentin layer and nerves. Loss of enamel exposes the dentin and nerves to the full brunt of these sensations.
Sensitivity can also happen if your gums have shrunk back (receded) and exposed dentin below the enamel. Although over-aggressive brushing can often cause it, gum recession also happens because of periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection also arising from plaque.
The best way to avoid tooth sensitivity is to prevent enamel erosion or gum recession in the first place. Removing accumulated plaque through daily brushing and flossing is perhaps the most essential part of prevention, along with a nutritious diet low in sugar and regular dental cleanings and checkups.
It's also important to treat any dental disease that does occur despite your best hygiene efforts. Gum disease requires aggressive plaque removal, especially around the roots. While receded gum tissues often rebound after treatment, you may need gum grafting surgery to restore lost tissues if the gums have receded more deeply. For enamel erosion and any resulting decay you may need a filling, root canal treatment or a crown, depending on the depth and volume of structural damage.
While you're being treated you can also gain some relief from ongoing sensitivity by using a toothpaste with potassium nitrate or similar products designed to desensitize the dentin. Fluoride, a known enamel strengthener, has also been shown to reduce sensitivity. We can apply topical fluoride directly to tooth surfaces in the form of gels or varnishes.
Don't suffer through bouts of tooth sensitivity any more than you must. Visit us for a full exam and begin treatment to relieve you of the pain and stress.
If you would like more information on the causes and treatment of tooth sensitivity, 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 “Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity.”
When you lose teeth, you really suffer. The change in oral function, those smile gaps, an aged facial appearance--they're beyond discouraging. They're truly devastating. Would you like to get your back? You can with state-of-the-art dentures from San Bernardino, CA, dentist, Dr. Sanjay Patel. He and his team of caring professionals will design and precision-fit you with beautiful and lifelike dentures that also are long-lasting.
What happens with tooth loss
Your facial appearance and function change when you lose one or more teeth. Bone and gums recede, compromising how you bite, chew, and speak. What dentists call bite height shrinks, making you look much older than you are. Additionally, some people develop teeth grinding issues and TMD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, a painful condition affecting the jaw joint.
What can you do
If you are missing teeth already, or if you anticipate extractions due to decay, gum disease, or other problems, see Dr. Patel about dentures. In his San Bernardino office, he'll examine your teeth and gums carefully and take digital X-rays and oral impressions. From there, he'll formulate a treatment plan outlining your denture options.
What Dr. Patel delivers
The American College of Prosthodontists states that the most common kinds of dentures are:
- Partial, made of one, two, or more acrylic teeth mounted on a light metal frame. Held in place via clasps attached to remaining natural teeth, a partial denture fills smile gaps and facilitates natural biting and chewing.
- Complete, or full, replacing an entire arch of teeth. Made of natural-looking acrylic, complete dentures rest right on the gums and bone. Well-fitted, these San Bernardino dentures rarely require denture adhesive. Additionally, if you qualify, Dr. Patel may stabilize these dentures with titanium dental implants inserted right into the jaw bone for maximum security.
- Immediate, placed right after tooth extraction. These full dentures speed extraction site healing and allow the patient to leave the dental office with a complete smile. However, most immediate dentures require eventual relining or even replacement as gums and bone shrink.
What's best for you
Dr. Patel will create your best tooth replacement option. Call his office team in San Bernardino, CA, today for a consultation on dentures: (888) 599-7005. You can get your smile back again!
If you’ve had a total joint replacement or similar procedure, you will want your surgeon to decide if you need to take an antibiotic before you undergo dental work. This is a precaution to prevent a serious infection known as bacteremia.
Bacteremia occurs when bacteria become too prevalent in the bloodstream and cause infection in other parts of the body, especially in joints and bone with prosthetic (replacement) substances. It’s believed that during invasive dental procedures bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream through incisions and other soft tissue disruptions.
Joint infections are a serious matter and can require extensive therapy to bring it under control. Out of this concern, the use of antibiotics as a prophylactic (preventive measure) against bacteremia once included a wide range of patients for a variety of conditions and procedures. But after an in-depth study in 2007, the American Dental Association concluded that the risks for many of these patient groups for infection triggered by a dental procedure was extremely low and didn’t warrant the use of antibiotic premedication therapy.
As a result, recommendations for antibiotic therapy changed in 2009, eliminating many groups previously recommended for premedication. But because of the seriousness of joint infection, The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons still recommends the therapy for joint replacement patients about to undergo any invasive procedure, including dental work. It’s especially needed for patients who also have some form of inflammatory arthritis, a weakened immune system, insulin-dependent diabetes, hemophilia, malnourishment or a previous infection in an artificial joint.
The guidelines for antibiotic premedication can be complex. It’s best, then, to speak with both your orthopedic surgeon and us about whether you should undergo antibiotic therapy before you undergo a dental procedure. The ultimate goal is to reduce the risks of any disease and to keep both your mouth and your body safe from infection.
If you would like more information on the use of antibiotics in dental care, 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 “Premedication for Dental Treatment.”