Dental Facts

TOOTH DECAY

Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is preventable. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices, leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally survive in your mouth and form plaque. The combination of deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth and eat away at tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.

TOOTH ACHE

Begin by meticulously cleaning around the sore tooth. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. Do not use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. If you have facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief, acetaminophen is recommended. If the pain persists more than a day, please contact us.

Sensitive Teeth

Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold foods and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Simply breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.

Gum Disease

Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage, and common indicators are consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Gums in the early stage of disease, known as gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided through daily brushing and flossing.

Halitosis

Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the build-up of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem such as halitosis.

Canker Sores

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. They have a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief. If the sores persist, visit your dentist.

Orthodontic Problems

A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types of improper bites may be acquired. Common causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth, misaligned jaws, injuries/trauma or developmental issues, such as thumb sucking..

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure, or continues longer than 15 minutes, please go to the nearest emergency room.

Broken Tooth

Recover any of the broken tooth fragments. Rinse the area with warm water, and apply a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Please seek immediate dental attention.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth into the socket, and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup of milk or water. Time is essential, so see a dentist immediately.

JAW INJURIES

In the event of a jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Go immediately to the nearest emergency room.

Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out

Fold a piece of gauze and place it tightly over the bleeding area. Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes. If bleeding continues, please see a dentist.

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