Dental Tips Blog

Dec
12

Is Vaping Bad For Your Teeth?

Posted in Fillings

Over the past couple of years we’ve seen an upswing in the numbers of people “vaping” or using electronic cigarettes.

It’s easy to think that because there’s no smoke involved (and sometimes not even any nicotine) vaping is harmless.

But is that really the case?

Effects Of Vaping

Studies have already shown that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes triggers inflammation in the lungs that reduces their functioning capacity. While the damage isn’t the same as that caused by tobacco smoke, it’s enough to weaken your lungs.

Weak lungs are prone to bacterial infections (like with plaque biofilm spreads from your mouth.) Take one lab study, for example. Mice exposed to vaping died after catching a common flu virus. The non-vaping mice recovered just fine.

Vaping: The Mark It Leaves In Your Mouth

While an e-cigarette or vape pen won’t leave nicotine or tobacco stains, it can still cause some damage that your dental hygienist will notice. The hot vapor can actually cause mild burns and irritation called “stomatitis.” More notably is how vaping contributes to dry mouth.

Dry mouth increases your mouth’s susceptibility to problems like gum disease and cavities.  Vaping can lead to the need for periodontal treatment and fillings.

Never Smoked? Never A Need To Vape

E-cigarettes were designed to help wean people off their nicotine addiction minus the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. No one yet knows the long-term effects of vaping in humans. Taking up vaping when you’ve never smoked is an unnecessary step backwards and could pose some serious risks to your health.

Why take that chance?

If you use nicotine in any form and want to learn about how to quit or how it’s already affected your oral health, contact your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Sep
22

Are There Any Risks to Getting a Filling?

Posted in Fillings

Dental fillings have been at the heart of dentistry for ages.

Until recent years, dentistry was all about repairing damaged teeth. Nowadays, there’s more of a preventative focus which helps people avoid the need for restorative work, altogether.

But there’s still a good chance that you’ll need a few dental fillings in your lifetime.

If you face the possibility of having a tooth filled in the near future, you might be a little worried about the process.

Some of the risks of getting a dental filling include:

  • Sensitivity
  • Pain after the procedure
  • Retreatment
  • Complications with sedation

Sensitivity and Pain

The actual process of getting a filling shouldn’t hurt at all. Your dentist will give you an injection of local anesthesia to completely numb the treatment site.

After the numbing shot wears off, however, your tooth may be a tad achy and sensitive.

The good news is that this goes away on its own within a matter of a week or so.

Retreatment

Fillings rarely need to be redone once they’re in place. But they won’t last forever, either. While a tooth benefits from the protection of a filling, it’ll never be as strong as it originally was.

With time, all fillings need to be replaced. 

Sedation 

Most people don’t need dental sedation for a few little fillings. But if you do decide on sleep dentistry, just know that it has some inherent risks that filling procedures on their own do not.

A certified and well-trained dental team will make sure any sedation procedure you have is as safe as possible.

Find out more about the risks and benefits of dental fillings by scheduling an appointment with a dentist near you.

Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228

Aug
30

Why Is My Tooth So Sensitive After Getting a Filling?

Posted in Fillings

White resin tooth fillings are common today because they look nice and are kind to natural teeth. But if a filling is supposed to make your tooth feel better after getting a cavity, why is it so sensitive?

Your tooth houses a very secure and sterile environment. The inner chamber is filled with nerves and blood vessels. Wrapped around that are layers of dentin and enamel. Dentin has pores that allow the nerves in your tooth to pick up on temperature changes. Enamel is like insulation that keeps the sensation from being too strong.

When a cavity breaks through the protective enamel layer, it can open up your tooth to major sensitivity.

Fillings, in a way, do something similar. Your dentist has to drill away not just the decayed part of your tooth, but also a little more to help anchor the restoration.

Your tooth will have to adjust to the shock of having a large piece of itself replaced with a foreign material. For some time after you get your filling, your tooth may be unusually sensitive to things like:

  • Sugar
  • Cold temperatures
  • Air
  • Pressure

Give your tooth a week or so to see if it settles down. In response to the “leak,” your tooth’s dentin will build a thicker and more cushioned layer from the inside.

On occasion, persistent sensitivity can indicate a more serious problem. Your tooth simply may not respond well to the filling. Or, the restoration might have been insufficient, meaning you’d need a root canal or crown. Sensitivity could also indicate that your filling is too high and needs to be polished down a little more.

See your dentist if you feel the sensitivity means something’s wrong.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

Jul
31

Are Sealants the Same Thing as Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

Have you ever had a sealant before? If not, it’s easy to see how it can be confused with a dental filling.

These treatments both look white and sit on top of a tooth. Sealants are usually cheaper, but their differences go far beyond cost alone.

Sealants: What They’re For

A sealant is a thin ribbon of resin that fills in deep grooves on the chewing surface of a tooth. Toothbrush bristles can’t always reach into those valleys, so sealing them off makes for an easier to clean surface.

Sealants are designed to prevent decay.

Fillings: The Reparative Treatment Phase

Whether tooth-colored or metal, all fillings do the same job of repairing a tooth once a cavity has already struck. You can’t slap a sealant over a filling because that would just trap the decay inside a tooth where it will keep growing.

Instead, you have to remove the damaged tooth material and replace it with a new structure.

Do You Need A Sealant Or A Filling?

It’s not as simple of a matter as walking into your dentist’s office and requesting a sealant. In fact, even your dentist can’t tell you what you need until he or she gets a good look inside your mouth.

Special tools, lasers, and x-rays all aid in diagnosing decay. If nothing harmful is discovered, your dentist will be happy to place as many preventive sealants as you need. But once a spot of decay breaks through the enamel, it’s too late – that tooth will need a filling.

While you’re at your dentist’s, find out more about other cavity-prevention strategies. Call today to schedule your visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565

Jul
17

Say Cheese! Cheddar May Benefit Your Smile

Posted in Fillings

One recent study strongly suggests that cheese could be an anti-cavity super food.

This study compared the effects of different dairy products on the pH levels inside of the human mouth. Some study participants drank milk, others ate yogurt, and the rest ate cheese.

Study Results

Each person ate their assigned snack for three minutes and then rinsed with water. pH readings were taken at 10, 20, and 30-minute intervals after eating. While the milk and yogurt didn’t make the mouth more acidic, the cheese caused pH levels to spike.

High pH levels means a more alkaline environment. This is good news for your teeth, since acid is responsible for wearing down enamel. A basic food item like cheese helps to neutralize acids that your mouth does encounter.

Other Benefits of Cheese

Cheese is a great source of calcium and casein. These elements show evidence of preventing the formation of plaque and reinforcing enamel.

Finally, there’s nothing like a tangy piece of sharp cheddar to get the saliva glands flowing. Saliva is your body’s natural way of neutralizing acid. It also washes away bacteria and food debris.

Snacking on cheese makes more spit, and that’s a good thing!

None of this is to say that chewing cheese will take the place of brushing! Maintaining a routine of good oral hygiene is still the best way you can prevent cavities and avoid dental fillings.

It’s just nice to know that one of America’s favorite foods is now on your dentist’s list of smile-friendly snack recommendations. Even if you melt some cheddar in pasta or rice, you’ll still get great benefits.

You’ve got a great reason to smile when you say “Cheese!”

Posted on behalf of:
Park Slope Dental Arts
506 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 962-0300

Jun
20

Should You Brush with Baking Soda?

Posted in Fillings

It’s an age-old remedy for many common health ailments. It’s a vital ingredient in many baked goods. It helps remove stains in laundry and is a chemical-free household cleaning agent. It deodorizes refrigerators and cupboards.

What is it? Baking soda.

This cheap and simple product can be a handy helper in your home. You may also know it as a popular toothpaste substitute.

This begs the question, however: is it safe to brush with baking soda instead of toothpaste?

Why Use Baking Soda?

Daily brushing is important to help reduce or prevent tooth decay and avoid the need for fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations.  Baking soda can be a cost-effective and quick way to get your teeth scrubbed up.

People choose this alternative toothpaste mainly because it’s gritty enough to polish out some stains on enamel. Baking soda can help remove some plaque and debris and its basic nature allows it to neutralize acids in the mouth. These acids are responsible for triggering tooth decay.

What’s Not So Great About Baking Soda?

Despite its benefits, baking soda also has a few downsides:

  • Messy
  • Salty (not recommended if you need to reduce your sodium intake)
  • Can be abrasive to enamel (causing it to wear away!)
  • Could irritate your gums

Perhaps the worst part about baking soda is not what it does, but what it doesn’t do.

Most toothpastes have some kind of detergent to help gently loosen plaque from the teeth. That’s what creates all the foam when you brush. Some toothpastes even have agents that prevent bacteria from growing back.

Most importantly, other toothpastes generally have fluoride. This vitamin is essential for strong teeth, but it’s not found in baking soda, by itself.

Ask your dentist whether using baking soda to regularly brush your teeth is good for your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228

May
3

Why Fillings Won’t Last Forever

Posted in Fillings

If you ever asked your dentist how long your filling would last, you were probably told that they’re good for an average of about 10 years. Some restorations have stuck around for much longer. At some point, though, you’ll need to update your fillings.

Your Incomparable Tooth Structure

There’s simply no dental filling that can quite measure up to the strength of a complete and natural tooth. Once your tooth enamel’s integrity is compromised by a cavity, a filling can only temporarily patch up and protect your tooth.

White composite resin fillings are better than metal ones in terms of tooth compatibility. Even so, it’s just a matter of time before your tooth begins to age and break down around the filling.

A Smile Under Constant Attack

Your teeth experience acid attacks on a regular basis throughout the day. Naturally-occurring bacteria in your mouth produce biological waste which weakens enamel and triggers cavities. The foods you eat also contain acid-causing natural sugars.

This harsh environment quickly weakens the bond between tooth and filling, shortening the lifespan of your restoration.

Dentistry is On the Move!

Dental researchers are working to develop materials that last longer and resist decay better than ever before. Within the next several years, we could see tooth restorations enter the scene that last for decades.

Today’s most advanced dental restorations utilize the most conservative techniques and materials that create a chemical bond with the tooth. By staying on top of your restorative needs and taking a preventive approach, you can postpone the need for any major dental work.

Ask your dentist about the materials and techniques used in your local office.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

May
1

Top 3 Most Common Places Your Tooth Can Get a Cavity

Posted in Fillings

Cavities don’t happen at random. They’re the result of acidic bacteria that have dug out a hiding place in the tooth. A cavity forms when the enamel wears away from too much acid exposure.

Places where these bacteria thrive undisturbed are the most likely areas to suffer a cavity.

  1. Between Teeth

Remember how your dentist gets on your case about flossing? This is one of the reasons why. Cavities most commonly form in between back teeth which are overlooked in the cleaning process. Flossing helps to disrupt the colonies of bacteria and limits their ability to trigger decay between teeth.

  1. On Chewing Surfaces

All those little grooves you see on the tops of your chewing teeth are great hiding places for cavity-causing bacteria. Food debris packs into those little spaces and provides the fuel bacteria need to do their dirty work.

The kicker is that toothbrush bristles can’t reach the bottom of those little valleys. You can reduce bacterial buildup here with:

Dental sealants

Fluoride use

Professional dental cleanings

Limiting how many sticky sweet carbs you eat

  1. On Root Surfaces

Root cavities are particularly dangerous because of how quickly they advance. Your roots don’t have much in the way of protection. They lack the enamel layer that covers the crown of your tooth.

After your tooth roots are exposed via gum recession, they become especially prone to developing cavities. At this point, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re brushing and flossing properly and using lots of fluoride.

Do you suspect you have a cavity? For a thorough examination and to find out more about your individual cavity risk, plan a visit to your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Apr
15

Will a Filling Be Enough?

Posted in Fillings

Whether you have a cavity or somehow chipped your tooth, you know full well that it’s time to have it fixed.

When you visit your dentist, you may be told that you need more than just a standard filling. Why?

What Happened to Your Tooth?

After suffering damage like a fracture or decay, your tooth is now exposed to the environment. This can lead to more decay or a deeper fracture. Your tooth may be very sensitive and perhaps so sharp that it hurts your tongue.

A small hole from a shallow cavity is easy to fix with a filling. But those times when the damage is much larger means that you need more support than a traditional restoration.

Filling Alternative Options

Teeth don’t hold usually hold up well after losing a big chunk of their outer layer. This means they are structurally-compromised. Patching up the hole with a moldable material just won’t cut it. Your tooth will likely stay sensitive or even break down faster than usual.

To help your tooth last as long as possible, your dentist may recommend another kind of restoration such as a crown or onlay.

Dental crowns replace your tooth’s entire outer layer. This gives your tooth strength and protects it from all angles. Dental crowns are often the last resort before your tooth needs a root canal.

Onlays (or inlays) are solid restorations designed outside the mouth and then cemented into place like a piece in a puzzle. This technique gives them more strength, giving your tooth more support than a regular filling would.

Your dentist has other methods for reinforcing fillings and saving your tooth. Ask him or her for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Feb
14

Should You Replace Your Fillings?

Posted in Fillings

It would definitely be nice if your dental fillings could last forever.

The reality is, however, that no dental restoration can withstand a lifetime of use. From crowns to fillings to veneers, all will need to be updated at some point. This is because once your natural tooth structure is compromised, it has to be protected. Artificial protection wears away with time.

So yes, your dental fillings will eventually need to be replaced.

But how do you know when the time is right?

Reasons to Replace Restorations

People may opt to update their fillings at will just because they want prettier ones that blend in with their teeth. Classic metal restorations stand out and even the white composite ones can stain and break down. You may also choose to replace your fillings for cosmetic purposes.

Do you grind or clench your teeth? That habit contributes to premature wear on the fillings and teeth in many patients. Like them, you should reinforce weak spots with fresh strong restorations and then look into getting a guard to protect your new dental work.

Traditional amalgam metal fillings contain mercury. While this element isn’t enough to cause you any issues, some people like to clean out all traces of it, just to be safe.

When Not to Replace

After examining your tooth, your dentist may feel that it’s not worth replacing the fillings. Some of the reasons may include:

  • Your tooth is not structurally strong enough to support a larger filling
  • The filling is still holding up well
  • You have better option for restoring and supporting a tooth

If you’re in doubt about the integrity of your current fillings, plan a visit to your dentist to get a professional perspective.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

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