My Blog

Posts for category: Oral Health

By Comprehensive Dental Care
March 25, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Gums  

Left untreated, gingivitis, the mild form of periodontal disease, could progress into periodontitis, the advanced form of periodontal disease that could result in other health issues and tooth loss.

If you suspect that you have gum disease, you can come visit Comprehensive Dental Care in West Hartford, CT, where one of our dentists can assess your condition. That said, here are some gum disease risk factors that you should know about:

Tobacco Use

Smoking and tobacco products are linked to a host of serious health conditions like cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and others. Tobacco users likewise have a higher risk of developing gum disease. Many studies have found that tobacco use might actually be among the top contributors to the progression and development of gum disease.

Age

According to studies, older individuals are the most susceptible to gum disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 70% of people in the U.S. who are 65 years old and older have gum disease.

Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Grinding and clenching the teeth places undue pressure on teeth’s supporting tissues and could significantly speed up the damage from gum disease. With this in mind, visit your West Hartford, CT, dentist to address these issues, especially if you’re at high risk for periodontal disease.

Obesity and Poor Nutrition

Unhealthy eating habits could compromise your immune system and, in turn, make it harder for your body to effectively ward off various infections. Likewise, since gum disease starts off as an infection, an unhealthy diet could make your gums’ condition worse. Studies have also found that obesity elevates the risk of developing gum disease.

Certain Medications

Some medications, including certain drugs for heart disease, anti-depressants, and oral contraceptives could impact oral health. Because of this, you should always inform your dentist about all of the medications that you’re taking.

Certain Systemic Diseases

These could interfere with the inflammatory system and make your gums’ condition so much worse. These include arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Take Control of Your Gum Health Now

Contact Comprehensive Dental Care in West Hartford, CT, to arrange an appointment with one of our dentists. Call (860) 233-7514 for further details.

By Comprehensive Dental Care
March 19, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: facial pain  
YoucanGetRelieffromFacialPain

Each year doctors treat about 150,000 new cases of severe facial pain. If you're one of those people, you don't have to suffer—there are ways to gain relief from these painful episodes.

Those recurring episodes are known as trigeminal neuralgia (TN). As the name implies, the source of the pain are the trigeminal nerves, which originate in the brain stem and extend on either side of the face. Each is divided into three branches (hence the "tri" in trigeminal) that serve the upper, middle and lower parts of the face and jaw.

TN can involve one or more of these branches, resulting in mild to severe pain that can last for several seconds. Jaw movements like chewing or speaking can trigger an episode, as well as a light touch to the face.

There are various proposed causes for TN, including links with inflammatory disorders like multiple sclerosis, which damages the insulating sheathing around nerve cells. The most common cause, though, appears to be a blood vessel pressing against the nerve. The compression causes hypersensitivity in that area of the nerve so that it transmits pain at the slightest sensation.

Other conditions like jaw joint pain disorders (TMD) or a dental abscess can cause similar pain symptoms, so it's important to get an accurate diagnosis. If your doctor does identify your condition as TN, you may then need a comprehensive approach to treatment involving a team of care providers, including your dentist.

For the most part, TN can be managed, beginning with the most conservative approach to gain relief, often with medications to block the nerve's pain signals to the brain or decrease abnormal nerve firings. If that proves insufficient, though, more intensive treatments are available.

One possible treatment for an impinging blood vessel is a microsurgical procedure to expose the affected nerve and relocate the vessel. While this can be effective, the surgery does carry some risk of facial numbness or decreased hearing. If the risks are too high for conventional surgery, an alternative procedure uses a precise beam of high-dose radiation to relieve the pressure from the vessel.

The most important thing to know about TN, though, is that it is possible to control it and relieve future pain episodes. If you're experiencing these symptoms, see your dentist or doctor for an exam and accurate diagnosis.

If you would like more information on trigeminal neuralgia, 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 “Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Nerve Disorder that Causes Facial Pain.”

DentalInjuryIsJustaTemporarySetbackforBasketballStarKevinLove

The March 27th game started off pretty well for NBA star Kevin Love. His team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were coming off a 5-game winning streak as they faced the Miami Heat that night. Less than two minutes into the contest, Love charged in for a shot on Heat center Jordan Mickey—but instead of a basket, he got an elbow in the face that sent him to the floor (and out of the game) with an injury to his mouth.

In pictures from the aftermath, Love’s front tooth seemed clearly out of position. According to the Cavs’ official statement, “Love suffered a front tooth subluxation.” But what exactly does that mean, and how serious is his injury?

The dental term “subluxation” refers to one specific type of luxation injury—a situation where a tooth has become loosened or displaced from its proper location. A subluxation is an injury to tooth-supporting structures such as the periodontal ligament: a stretchy network of fibrous tissue that keeps the tooth in its socket. The affected tooth becomes abnormally loose, but as long as the nerves inside the tooth and the underlying bone have not been damaged, it generally has a favorable prognosis.

Treatment of a subluxation injury may involve correcting the tooth’s position immediately and/or stabilizing the tooth—often by temporarily splinting (joining) it to adjacent teeth—and maintaining a soft diet for a few weeks. This gives the injured tissues a chance to heal and helps the ligament regain proper attachment to the tooth. The condition of tooth’s pulp (soft inner tissue) must also be closely monitored; if it becomes infected, root canal treatment may be needed to preserve the tooth.

So while Kevin Love’s dental dilemma might have looked scary in the pictures, with proper care he has a good chance of keeping the tooth. Significantly, Love acknowledged on Twitter that the damage “…could have been so much worse if I wasn’t protected with [a] mouthguard.”

Love’s injury reminds us that whether they’re played at a big arena, a high school gym or an outdoor court, sports like basketball (as well as baseball, football and many others) have a high potential for facial injuries. That’s why all players should wear a mouthguard whenever they’re in the game. Custom-made mouthguards, available for a reasonable cost at the dental office, are the most comfortable to wear, and offer protection that’s superior to the kind available at big-box retailers.

If you have questions about dental injuries or custom-made mouthguards, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”

By Comprehensive Dental Care
February 28, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
4SupposedHealthDangersinDentalCareThatArentDangerous

Holistic medicine aims to provide healthcare for the “whole” person. While it's a worthy approach, the term has also been used to advance ideas, including in dentistry, at odds with solid scientific evidence.

Here are 4 “holistic” oral health claims and why you should be wary of them.

Root canals are dangerous. It might be shocking to learn that some claim this routine tooth-saving procedure increases the risk of disease. The claim comes from an early 20th Century belief that leaving a “dead” organ like a root-canaled tooth in the body damages the immune system. The idea, though, has been thoroughly disproved, most recently by a 2013 oral cancer study that found not only no evidence of increased cancer, but an actual decrease in cancer risk following root canal treatment.

X-rays are hazardous. X-rays have improved tooth decay treatment by allowing dentists to detect it at earlier stages. Even so, many advise avoiding X-rays because, as a form of radiation, high levels could damage health. But dentists take great care when x-raying patients, performing them only as needed and at the lowest possible exposure. In fact, people receive less radiation through dental X-rays than from their normal background environment.

Silver fillings are toxic. Known for their strength and stability, dentists have used silver fillings for generations. But now many people are leery of them because it includes mercury, which has been linked to several health problems. Research concludes that there's no cause for alarm, or any need to remove existing fillings: The type of mercury used in amalgam is different from the toxic kind and doesn't pose a health danger.

Fluoride contributes to disease. Nothing has been more beneficial in dental care or more controversial than fluoride. A proven weapon against tooth decay, fluoride has nonetheless been associated with ailments like cancer or Alzheimer's disease. But numerous studies have failed to find any substantial disease link with fluoride except fluorosis, heavy tooth staining due to excess fluoride. Fluorosis, though, doesn't harm the teeth otherwise and is easily prevented by keeping fluoride consumption within acceptable limits.

Each of these supposed “dangers” plays a prominent role in preventing or minimizing dental disease. If you have a concern, please talk with your dentist to get the true facts about them.

If you would like more information on best dental practices, 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 “Holistic Dentistry: Fads vs. Evidence-Based Practices.”

By Comprehensive Dental Care
February 19, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dentist   Family  

When looking for a family dentist, you want convenience, flexibility, diversity, and compassionate care all under one roof. Our doctors at Comprehensive Dental Care provide all that and more to our West Hartford, CT, patients. They offer a range of general, cosmetic, and restorative services to fix a variety of dental issues for children, adults, and seniors. From routine cleanings to orthodontics, to advanced treatments like dental implants or root canals, all oral health needs, questions, and concerns are addressed during a consultation.

What is a Family Dentist?

At Comprehensive Dental Care, we do not put an age restriction on the patients we treat. Although, scheduling an infant's first exam is recommended after their first birthday. When visiting our family dentist, they can diagnose, treat, and manage oral health while focusing on the teeth and gums. This prevents dangerous consequences from developing in the future. They can also educate parents and patients about how to maintain adequate care at home. It’s important to know how to prevent periodontal disease as well as tooth decay in-between visits to our West Hartford, CT, dental office.

Benefits of Visiting a Family Dentist

There are several advantages to visiting our doctors at Comprehensive Dental Care from infancy to adulthood, such as:

  • We offer multiple specialties in a single location.

  • You and your child can build a relationship with the same doctor.

  • Extensive knowledge in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry.

If you are searching for a family dentist, look no further than Comprehensive Dental Care. Our goal is to nurture the oral health needs of you and your loved ones. In addition to general, cosmetic, and restorative treatments, we also handle emergencies that result from a traumatic injury, where a tooth becomes knocked out, chipped, broken, or damaged. For more information about all the services provided, visit our website. To schedule an appointment in our West Hartford, CT, office, please call (860) 233-7514.