Posts for: January, 2021
How your dentists in West Hartford, CT can help if you have gum disease
Gum disease is a common problem, and it can sneak up on you with little to no symptoms. All you may notice is redness in your gums, or maybe slight bleeding when you brush, floss, or eat.
You will be glad to know gum disease is completely reversible, but you need to act fast. You need to start an excellent program of oral hygiene and visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for a dental exam and professional cleaning.
The dentists at Comprehensive Dental Care in West Hartford, CT offer a wide range of dental services, including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatments to help you enjoy a healthy smile.
You may have gum disease if you experience:
- Gums that are red and bleeding
- Swelling, puffiness, or pain in your gums
- Gum pain when you brush, floss, or chew
- Chronic bad breath
- Receding gums resulting in root exposure
You can do a lot to prevent gum disease, including:
- Brushing after meals and before you go to bed; a sonic or electric toothbrush is often helpful to flush out bacteria and food debris.
- Flossing at least once each day; flossing cleans in between your teeth, in areas that can’t be reached with a toothbrush. For more thorough cleaning, try wrapping the floss around the widest part of your tooth as you go down in between your teeth.
- Visit your dentist at least every six to twelve months for a dental examination, including x-rays. Your dentist will examine your gums for any signs of disease and look at your x-rays for signs of bone loss, one of the key indicators of periodontal disease.
- Visit your dental hygienist at least every six to twelve months, or as directed by your dentist. Your dental hygienist will remove any soft and hard deposits on your teeth, which reduces the number of harmful bacteria causing gum and periodontal disease.
Keeping excellent oral hygiene habits along with regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist are the best ways to prevent gum disease. To find out more about gum and periodontal disease causes, prevention, and treatment, call the dentists of Comprehensive Dental Care in West Hartford, CT at (860) 233-7514. Call today!
Hollywood superstar Jennifer Lawrence is a highly paid actress, Oscar winner, successful producer and…merry prankster. She's the latter, at least with co-star Liam Hemsworth: It seems Lawrence deliberately ate tuna fish, garlic or other malodorous foods right before their kissing scenes while filming The Hunger Games.
It was all in good fun, of course—and her punked co-star seemed to take it in good humor. In most situations, though, our mouth breath isn't something we take lightly. It can definitely be an unpleasant experience being on the receiving end of halitosis (bad breath). And when we're worried about our own breath, it can cause us to be timid and self-conscious around others.
So, here's what you can do if you're concerned about bad breath (unless you're trying to prank your co-star!).
Brush and floss daily. Bad breath often stems from leftover food particles that form a film on teeth called dental plaque. Add in bacteria, which thrive in plaque, and you have the makings for smelly breath. Thorough brushing and flossing can clear away plaque and the potential breath smell. You should also clean your dentures daily if you wear them to avoid similar breath issues.
Scrape your tongue. Some people can build up a bacterial coating on the back surface of the tongue. This coating may then emit volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that give breath that distinct rotten egg smell. You can remove this coating by brushing the tongue surface with your toothbrush or using a tongue scraper (we can show you how).
See your dentist. Some cases of chronic bad breath could be related to oral problems like tooth decay, gum disease or broken dental work. Treating these could help curb your bad breath, as can removing the third molars (wisdom teeth) that are prone to trapped food debris. It's also possible for bad breath to be a symptom of a systemic condition like diabetes that may require medical treatment.
Quit smoking. Tobacco can leave your breath smelly all on its own. But a smoking habit could also dry your mouth, creating the optimum conditions for bacteria to multiply. Besides increasing your disease risk, this can also contribute to chronic bad breath. Better breath is just one of the many benefits of quitting the habit.
We didn't mention mouthrinses, mints or other popular ways to freshen breath. While these can help out in a pinch, they may cover up the real causes of halitosis. Following the above suggestions, especially dental visits to uncover and treat dental problems, could solve your breath problem for good.
If you would like more information about ways to treat bad breath, please contact us or schedule an appointment. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More Than Just Embarrassing.”
The timing around losing a tooth may not always sync with your financial ability. It's not unusual for people to postpone getting a dental implant—by far the best option for replacing a missing tooth—because of its expense.
So, if you have to postpone dental implants until you can afford them, what do you do in the meantime to keep your smile intact? One affordable option is a temporary restoration known as a flexible removable partial denture (RPD).
Composed of a kind of nylon developed in the 1950s, flexible RPDs are made by first heating the nylon and injecting its softened form into a custom mold. This creates a gum-colored denture base to which prosthetic (false) teeth are affixed at the exact locations for missing teeth.
Differing from a permanent RPD made with rigid acrylic plastic, a nylon-based RPD is flexible and lightweight, making them comfortable to wear. They're kept in place with small nylon extensions that fit into the natural concave spaces of teeth. And, with a bit of custom crafting, they can look quite realistic.
RPDs are helpful in another way, especially if you're waiting for an implant down the road: They help preserve the missing tooth space. Without a prosthetic tooth occupying that space, neighboring teeth can drift in. You might then need orthodontic treatment to move errant teeth to where they should be before obtaining a permanent restoration.
Flexible RPDs may not be as durable as acrylic RPDs, and can be difficult to repair or reline if needed to adjust the fit. Though they may not stain as readily as acrylic dentures, you'll still need to clean them regularly to help them keep looking their best. This also aids in protecting the rest of your mouth from dental disease by removing any buildup of harmful bacterial plaque on the RPD.
But even with these limitations, patients choose RPDs for the simple fact that they're affordable and temporary. And the latter is their greatest benefit—providing you a “bridge” between losing a tooth and replacing it with a durable dental implant.
If you would like more information on tooth replacement options, 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 “Flexible Partial Dentures.”
Scheduling professional teeth cleanings with your family dentist regularly is an excellent way to maintain better oral health. Professional cleanings are needed to remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup. Additionally, dental professionals have access to tools and techniques for achieving a more thorough cleaning than is possible at home. The family dentists at Comprehensive Dental Care in West Hartford can help you enjoy better oral health with professional cleanings and regular dental checkups.
Enjoy Better Oral Health
Professional teeth cleanings can help you achieve better oral health and are the only way to completely remove tartar buildup on teeth. Brushing and flossing at home are not enough. When left on teeth, tartar continues to build up and can contribute to the development of tooth decay and gum disease. Tartar buildup can also stain teeth and cause them to appear yellow.
The reason tartar is so difficult to remove is that it bonds with tooth enamel. Once bonded, tartar cannot be brushed away. Dental professionals have the tools and equipment needed to scrape away stubborn tartar and clean hard-to-reach places where plaque and cavity-causing bacteria could be hiding. Scheduling periodic dental checkups and professional cleanings with one of the skilled family dentists at our office in West Hartford can play an essential role in helping you enjoy optimal oral health.
Link to Overall Health
Prioritizing your oral health could have a positive impact on your overall health. Poor oral health has been linked to an increased risk for developing a wide range of health problems, including stroke and heart disease. Poor oral health or inconsistent oral hygiene habits can leave lingering bacteria in the mouth, which could potentially travel to other areas of the body and cause inflammation or infection. Professional teeth cleanings are a highly effective means of clearing away this bacterial before it causes health problems.
Having your teeth professionally cleaned at least once every six months will help you maintain better oral health and could reduce your risk of developing certain health problems. To schedule a dental checkup and teeth cleaning with one of our family dentists, call Comprehensive Dental Care in West Hartford at (860) 233-7514.
While anyone can lose a permanent tooth, the cause often varies by age group. Adults usually lose their teeth to disease, while those under twenty lose a tooth to accidents.
For adults, a dental implant is usually the best way to replace a missing tooth. Teenagers and younger, on the other hand, must wait to get implants until their jaws fully develop. An implant placed on an immature jaw will eventually look and feel out of place.
For most, their jaws won't reach full maturity until their early twenties. Even so, they still have a couple of good options for restoring their smiles in the meantime, albeit temporarily.
One is a removable partial denture or RPD, a device with the replacement prosthetic (false) tooth or teeth set in a gum-colored acrylic base. Of the various types of RPDs, most teenagers do well with a rigid but lightweight version called a “flipper,” called so because it can be flipped in and out of place with the tongue.
These RPDs are affordable, their fit easily adjusted, and they make cleaning the rest of the teeth easier. But they can break while biting down hard and—because they're dentures—aren't always well accepted among teenagers.
The other option is a bonded bridge. Unlike a traditional bridge secured with crowns cemented to natural teeth, a bonded bridge uses a strip of dental material affixed to the back of the prosthetic tooth with the ends of the strip extending outward horizontally. With the prosthetic tooth inserted into the empty space, these extended ends are bonded to the backs of the natural teeth on either side.
Though not as secure as a traditional bridge, a bonded bridge is more aesthetic and comfortable than an RPG. On the other hand, patients who have a deep bite or a teeth-grinding habit, both of which can generate abnormally high biting forces, run a higher risk of damaging the bridge. A bridge can also make hygiene tasks difficult and time-consuming, requiring a high degree of self-discipline from the patient.
Whichever you choose, both options can effectively replace a teenager's missing tooth while waiting for dental implants. Although temporary, they can make the long wait time for a teenager more bearable.