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Some Dental Procedures Explained

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Periodontal Exams Periodontal exams are vital in the maintenance of your oral health as they are used to assess the health of your gums and teeth. They can help your dentist diagnose gum diseases, gingivitis and periodontitis. These exams can also reveal receding gums, exposed roots, tooth grinding and other problems, making periodontal exams vital to maintaining proper oral health. Regular dental exams are important as they can reveal evidence of gum disease in its early stages. During your periodontal examination, your dentist will check: For any lumps or abnormal areas in the mouth Whether any of your teeth are […]

Fillings

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Frequently asked questions: dental fillings Are dental amalgams safe? Is it possible to have an allergic reaction to amalgam? Is it true that dental amalgams have been banned in other countries? Is there a filling material that matches tooth color? If my tooth doesn’t hurt and my filling is still in place, why would the filling need to be replaced? Read this interesting and informative discussion from the American Dental Association. FDA consumer update: dental amalgams The Food and Drug Administration and other organizations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) continue to investigate the safety of amalgams used in […]

Fluoride

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For decades, fluoride has been held in high regard by the dental community as an important mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, which thereby helps to prevent decay of tooth structures. Water fluoridation is endorsed by nearly every major health and safety-related organization in the world. Communities make it a common practice to “fluoridate” their drinking supplies in order for the general population to benefit from this inexpensive and effective preventative treatment. According to the American Dental Association, more than 144 million U.S. residents in more than 10,000 communities drink fluoridated water, most from public water supplies with sodium fluoride added […]

Mouth Guards

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Anyone who participates in a sport that carries a significant risk of injury should wear a mouth protector. Sports like basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and volleyball all pose risks to your gum tissues, as well as your teeth. We usually think of football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, but nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball. A helmet can prevent serious injuries such as concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, incidents of unconsciousness, jaw fractures and neck injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw gets jammed into the upper jaw.   Mouth guards are […]

Oral Cancer

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Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers today and has one of the lowest survival rates, with thousands of new cases being reported each year. Fewer than half of all people diagnosed with oral cancer are ever cured. Moreover, people with many forms of cancer can develop complications—some of them chronic and painful—from their cancer treatment.  These include dry mouth and overly sensitive teeth, as well as accelerated tooth decay. If oral cancer is not treated in time, it could spread to other facial and neck tissues, leading to disfigurement and pain. Older adults over the age of […]

Overview of Common Dental Problems

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Lacerations and Cuts Any kind of cut to your face and the delicate soft tissues inside your mouth should be addressed immediately in order to prevent further tissue damage and infection. If a traumatic injury involves a broken facial bone such as the jaw, nose, chin or cheek, maxillofacial surgery may be required. With jaw surgery, rubber bands, tiny wires, metal braces, screws or plates are often used to keep a fractured jaw in place following surgery. This allows the bone to heal and stay in proper alignment. Dental splints or dentures may also be required to supplement the healing […]

Infection Control

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Standards and Best Practice With all of the increased media attention on infection outbreaks such as AIDS and multi-drug resistant strains of viruses, it’s no wonder people have heightened concerns about infection control during a medical procedure. Gloves, gowns and masks are required to be worn in all dentist offices today—a far cry from just a few decades ago—when fewer than one-third of all dentists even wore such personal protective equipment, or PPE.  After each patient visit, disposable PPE-such as gloves, drapes, needles, and scalpel blades-are thrown away, hands are washed, and a new pair of gloves used for the […]

Oral Health Products

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Visit any pharmacy or the health and beauty section of a supermarket today, and you are faced with a large, and many say confusing, array of over-the-counter remedies and devices designed to help you tend to your hygiene and health-care needs. There are many high-quality products on the market today. There also are many products of dubious value. Whatever over-the-counter dental product you buy, it is strongly advised that you ensure it has the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Over-the-counter dental instruments are fraught with danger. These include scaling devices and picks. Use of the products, even when following […]

Managing Pain

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There are many methods for relieving oral pain. They include: Ice packs on the affected area. Avoiding hard candy or ice. Avoiding sleeping on your stomach. Dentists use a wide array of pain management tools, including: Anesthetics such as Novocaine. Analgesics such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Sedatives, including a procedure known as “conscious sedation” or general sedation (also known as “deep sedation”). Anesthesia Dentistry has advanced to the point in which pain is almost a thing of the past. Powerful pain-killing medications known as anesthetics not only help a patient avoid discomfort during a procedure, but post-operatively as well. Some […]

Bad Breath (halitosis)

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An estimated sixty-five percent of Americans have bad breath. Over forty-million Americans have “chronic halitosis,” which is persistent bad breath. Ninety percent of all halitosis is of oral, not systemic, origin. Americans spend more than $1 billion a year on over the counter halitosis products, many of which are ineffective because they only mask the problem. What causes bad breath? Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors. In most cases, it is caused by food remaining in the mouth – on the teeth, tongue, gums, and other structures, collecting bacteria. Dead and dying bacterial cells release a sulfur […]