Dental Tips Blog

May
7

Common Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Posted in Teeth Whitening

When your teeth are sensitive, it interferes with almost everything you do; from how you chew your food, what type of toothpaste you can use, to the snacks you enjoy. The type of sensitivity that you experience is a clue to what is causing the sensitivity, and many causes can come from things we do each day that we simply don’t give much consideration to. Here are a few of the most popular reasons that teeth experience sensitivity:

The wrong toothpaste.

Do you use a whitening toothpaste? If you are, the whitening ingredients may be making the enamel sensitive. Try changing it out with another toothpaste (or a sensitivity blend) for 2 weeks to see if your symptoms go away. 

Tooth decay.

Sensitivity to food or drinks that are sweet in nature can create a sharp pain in specific teeth if a cavity is present. If you’ve noticed this developing, it’s time to have an x-ray taken to see if there’s a cavity, so that your dentist can catch it while it’s as small as possible. 

Dental fillings.

If a filing is beginning to wear out, symptoms of sensitivity may arise due to leakage around the restoration. Sometimes new fillings that are quite large can cause the nerve of the tooth to be hypersensitive until it adjusts. 

Whitening products.

Whitening treatments open up the pores of the teeth as they remove deep-set stains that were once blocking them. This can cause generalized sensitivity, especially if the patient is not using a professional teeth whitening kit. Always consult your dentist before you begin using any types of at home whitening products.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Omar Damji, Executive Park Dentistry

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Mar
28

Teeth Whitening Options

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening procedures are one of the most popular discussions in dental offices! Many people are not satisfied with the color of their teeth. There are so many options for whitening your teeth, how do you choose which teeth whitening option is best for you?

Here are a few of  the most prevalent teeth whitening methods:

  • Light-Activated Teeth Bleaching: In this category there are several choices for brands as well. You will need to check with your dental office to see what they offer. With this way of whitening your dental professional will put peroxide on your teeth and then a bleaching gel. Once both are applies then a blue light will activate the two on your teeth. The whole procedure takes around an hour in your dental office. This procedure will give you instant results. The cost ranges from $300-$600.
  • Tray Bleaching: With tray bleaching your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and then create a plastic tray that will fit into your mouth. This tray basically fits like a mouth guard. Then you simply put a bleaching gel inside the guard and wear them anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour a day until your teeth are the shade you desire. Using a tray bleaching procedure will cost you anywhere from $400-$1000.
  • Drugstore Teeth Whitening Kits: With this method of teeth whitening you will take strips that are covered with a peroxide gel and keep them on your teeth for up to 30 minutes. Using drugstore-whitening kits is best for someone with light staining and also plenty of good tooth enamel. They do work but they won’t achieve the whitening that you can get in a dental office.  These kits typically sell for around $15-$20 apiece.

Posted of the behalf of Justin Scott

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Mar
25

Recession and Sensitivity

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Receded gums are one of the leading causes of tooth sensitivity. That’s because gums typically cover the roots of the teeth, but when recession occurs, the roots are left exposed to external stimuli. Unlike the crowns of teeth, roots are not covered by enamel. Instead, they are primarily made up of dentin, a structure that is more porous and contains nerve endings that are more sensitive than enamel is.

Gums can recede when toothbrushing is too aggressive, bristles are too stiff, tobacco use, teeth are misaligned, gum disease is present, or when someone grinds their teeth on a regular basis. This leaves a small area next to the crown of the tooth exposed as gum tissue gradually creeps away. Even one or two millimeters of gum recession is enough to cause significant tooth sensitivity. Most people notice it when they brush their teeth, drink cold beverages, or use teeth whitening products.

If sensitivity is minor, using a sensitivity toothpaste can help block the pores of the root surface and eliminate hypersensitivity during normal activities. Severe recession may require bonding being placed over the root, or even gingival grafting to re-cover the area where gum tissue is missing. If symptoms persist or become more severe, then other problems may be present, such as a cracked tooth, gum disease or tooth decay. Mild to moderate sensitivity can also be treated every 3-6 months by your dentist placing a fluoride varnish on the area to serve as a desensitizer.

Regular dental check-ups can catch areas of recession early, preventing them from becoming more severe. In rare circumstances, severe gum recession can also lead to tooth loss.

Posted on behalf of Dr. James C. Kincaid

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Mar
6

One-Visit Laser Whitening

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Everyone wants whiter teeth, but not everyone has patience for a home teeth whitening kit that can take days or weeks to complete. That’s where one-visit laser teeth whitening comes in! This in-office procedure is completed at your dental office in just a single, one-hour appointment!

Our teeth become stained over time from the things we put in our mouth. Some things like coffee and tea stain our teeth more than others. Because enamel is porous, these stains gradually accumulate and can make teeth look older than they are. Teeth whitening helps to naturally lift these stains, oxidizing the stain particles so that they fall away from the tooth, making the teeth look whiter and younger.

Laser teeth whitening amplifies the tooth whitening process, because the high-grade light acts as a catalyst that speeds up the oxidation of stain. This means results happen in minutes instead of days. Several shades of improvement are achieved in just one hour; the same results you would see in a week with a professional grade home whitening kit.

Why do people choose laser whitening?

  •  They don’t want to mess with using a kit for several days, or forget to use it.
  •  An important event is coming up in a short amount of time.
  •  They received it as a gift
  •  They want their smile to look younger and brighter

Whitening is something that makes any smile look better. The results can last for years! Most laser whitening patients will receive a home kit that they can use 2 or 3 times a year to touch up their teeth whitening and extend their results for several years.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Omar Damji, Executive Park Dentistry

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May
5

What Tooth Whitening Products Are Most Effective?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Selecting a product to whiten your teeth can be almost as overwhelming as trying to select a toothpaste. Which one works best? How does it work? Why does that one cost more? Knowing some key points to look for will help you select the most appropriate teeth whitening product that produces an effective change in the appearance of your smile.

Look at the Concentration

Higher solutions of whitening concentrations enable the product to work faster and be more effective. Over the counter products are restricted by the FDA as to what concentration is allowed in their products. Professional gels purchased through your dentist also come in a higher concentration, which limits the necessary treatment time. If you have sensitive teeth you will want to pay close attention to what concentration of peroxide ingredients are used, because the higher the dosage may trigger hypersensitivity.

Pay Attention to the Ingredients

The most commonly used active ingredients in whitening products include hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Both of these ingredients trigger oxidation, which lifts and removes deeply set stain in the surface of the tooth. Hydrogen peroxide works faster and usually requires a shorter wear time of approximately one hour. Carbamide peroxide takes longer, and may be used in overnight whitening trays due to it’s extended release. Both produce effective results. Peroxide free whiteners are usually reserved for people with extremely sensitive teeth.

Select the Best Method of Delivery

Perhaps the most important aspect of what makes your whitening product effective is how it is applied. Custom made dental trays will always keep better contact and restrict exposure to gum tissues than generic sized over the counter trays, as well as require less whitening gel. Whitening strips are the best over the counter option, because they allow most people to shape the strip closely to their teeth, ensuring contact with the whitening ingredients.

Jan
28

In-office Teeth Whitening Treatment

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Nothing gives your confidence a greater boost than a sparkling smile, and there is no better way to get it than with a professional teeth whitening treatment at your dentist’s office.  In-home whitening treatments aren’t as reliable and often take a lot longer or repeat treatments to get the same results. With professional teeth whitening, you see results instantly.

Professional teeth whitening generally takes just a couple of hours and involves the following steps:

Thorough Dental Cleaning and Examination – The dentist cleans teeth with pumice to remove any plaque or surface stains. He will also look for any signs of decay, gum disease or cracks. If any of those conditions exist, the dentist may delay whitening until those problems are corrected.

Preparation and Application of Whitener – Once the go-ahead has been given, the dentist will insert a cheek retractor into the mouth to expose the esthetic zone of the teeth, along with a rubber dam to protect the gums from irritation. Then, a bleaching gel containing either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide is applied to the teeth and allowed to set for up to 60 minutes. During this time, a laser light may be used on the teeth to speed up the lightening process and sometimes the entire step is repeated, depending on the level of whitening desired.

Evaluation and Follow-up – Once the desired level of whitening is achieved, the dentist will remove the gel and thoroughly rinse the teeth. You can expect your teeth to be lightened anywhere from two or three times their original color to as much as 16.  After the procedure, you will be told to avoid stain-causing foods like coffee for about 24 hours to allow the enamel to harden once again. Repeat whitening may be needed to achieve desired results.

Jan
16

Teeth Whitening Methods

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most sought-after cosmetic dental treatments today. Dentist-administered teeth whitening can effectively combat the scourge of dull, stained, or discolored teeth. On the other hand, reasonably-priced home whitening systems make it easy for people to put the ‘white’ back in ‘pearly whites’ in the convenience of their home. There are a number of teeth whitening methods that dentists and everyday consumers may use.

1)      In-office bleaching

In-office bleaching is the quickest and most effective teeth whitening method. It is also the most expensive. Performed in a dentist’s office, it involves the direct application of a whitening agent to the teeth, often in conjunction with a laser or heat. The dramatic results of in-office bleaching can be explained by the fact that whitening agents used during in-office bleaching are much stronger than over-the-counter whitening agents.

2)      Teeth whitening trays

With tray-based whitening systems, a whitening gel is put into a mouth tray (similar to a mouth guard) which is then worn for a specified amount of time depending on the strength of the whitening gel. Generic tray-based whitening systems are sold as over-the-counter products while custom-made trays can be purchased from a dentist.

3)      Over-the-counter whitening strips

Whitening strips are one of the most common teeth whitening methods used by the everyday consumer. The ultra-thin strips are placed on the teeth daily and worn for 30 minutes. The peroxide-based gel on the strips whitens the teeth over the course of 2 weeks. Results vary depending on the strength of the whitening gel, but teeth are visibly whiter after a few days.

4)      Over-the-counter whitening gels

Store-bought, peroxide-based whitening gels are another teeth whitening product that is fast becoming popular. The gels must be applied to the teeth with a small brush daily for 2 weeks.

5)      Whitening rinses/mouthwashes

Over-the-counter whitening rinses do everything that regular mouth rinses do and also contain a bleaching agent (usually hydrogen peroxide) to whiten the teeth. Whitening rinses are not as effective as other store-bought whitening products and it takes longer to see results.

6)     Whitening toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes contain the mild abrasives found in regular toothpaste that act on surface stains, along with additional chemicals and polishing agents to aid stain removal. Contrary to popular belief, whitening toothpastes do not bleach the teeth since they do not contain hydrogen peroxide.

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