All posts by Flawless Dental

What Jaw Pain Could Mean

Having jaw pain is never fun, and it can cause complications with eating, drinking, and talking. There are many different explanations for jaw pain, including:

  • TMJ or TMD
  • Sinus problems
  • Toothache
  • Infections
  • Tooth grinding
  • Periodontal disease

Although a dentist cannot address all of these problems, they can help you set a treatment plan for some of them. For issues such as tooth grinding (also known as bruxism), your dentist may recommend a mouth guard or a night guard to put an end to your grinding. This takes pressure off the teeth and jaw.

For other issues your dentist might recommend root canal therapy, antibiotics, or even tooth extraction. Talk to your dentist if you are experiencing jaw pain because they can help ease your pain and find a way to treat and resolve the problem.


Tooth Regeneration May Soon Be Possible

Regrowing Teeth

Dental cavities are one of the most common dental issues facing Americans today. Roughly 91% of Americans between the ages of 20-64 suffer from cavities, and chances are—if you regularly visit the dentist—you’ve had a filling to repair damage caused by tooth decay.

Modern dental procedures for cavities typically involve removing the damaged part of the tooth and replacing it with a dental filling .

However, science may soon discover a new answer…

Tideglusib Dental Treatment

A new drug called Tideglusib has the potential to change the face of dentistry forever. Researchers are enthusiastic about the drug’s potential to regrow bony tooth tissue (dentin) to fill a cavity.

The hope is that the dentin produced by Tideglusib fuses completely to the tooth, filling the cavity and eliminating the possibility the cavity will fall out in the future—one of the main shortcomings of currently used fillings.

What’s more, Tideglusib is both cheap and safe, which are huge benefits to dental practices and consumers alike.

Laser Dental Regenration

In addition to drug-related research, a team of dentists are testing the ability of low-power laser light to encourage tooth growth. Preliminary tests have indicated that shining laser light onto healthy dental pulp can produce dentin, providing the patient with a much stronger filling than the ones employed today.


Are Pregnant Women More at Risk for Periodontal Disease?

It is common for women to experience problems with their gums and teeth during pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause teeth to become sensitive as well as gum swelling and bleeding. Because of the changes to oral health during pregnancy, it is very important for pregnant women to practice good oral health care and to visit their dentist regarding any oral health issues that may arise to prevent further damage.

If problems with your teeth and gums are left untreated, then periodontitis can occur. Periodontal disease causes the gum to pull away from the teeth and form pockets that later become infected. If left untreated, it can result in tooth loss. To help you identify potential pregnancy-related oral health issues, we’ve gathered a list of common symptoms and how you can prevent them.

Pregnancy gingivitis

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy allow for bacteria to grow more easily in the mouth and in the gums. With more bacteria comes an increased chance of periodontitis. Because this may cause your gums to bleed, recede, or become sensitive, the bacteria have easier access to eat away at your gums.

Gently brushing with a soft-bristled brush can also help. By brushing twice a day and flossing, you are eradicating the damaging plaque and bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth. A soft-bristled brush are less likely to cause your gums to bleed, which is common due to the additional amount of blood you have in your body.

Nausea and vomiting

Morning sickness is common for most pregnant women, but it can harm teeth. The stomach acids that come up when vomiting can damage your enamel, which, when broken down, makes it easier for acid and bacteria to attack teeth. This can cause sensitivity and decay.

To decrease the amount of plaque and acids on your teeth, try chewing sugarless gum that contains xylitol. Also, try using toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride.

While these changes to your gum and teeth during pregnancy are painful, there are things you can do to alleviate the pain. Discuss additional options with your dentist to prevent any further damage to your oral health!


A Guide to Sedation Dentistry

If you are the type of person who hates the dentist, then sedation dentistry might be right for you. People who suffer from extreme anxiety and fear regarding going to the dentist can now opt to be sedated during the procedure.

If your dentist offers sedation dentistry and finds that you are a candidate for sedation, then you could benefit from one of any of the types of dental sedation listed below.

Laughing Gas

While this form of sedation, known as nitrous oxide, doesn’t put you to sleep, it does help reduce your anxiety about the procedure. Laughing gas can be administered either orally through a machine and mask or through an injection.

Oral Conscious Sedation

This form of sedation is taken as a pill or liquid. When taken orally, this option keeps you awake but calms you down and relaxes you.

IV Sedation

This is a deeper form of sedation that does not put the patient to sleep, but rather makes them less aware of the procedure. This option is given intravenously into a vein and requires recovery time after you leave the procedure.

General Anesthesia

Under general anesthesia, the patient will be asleep for the entire procedure. The drugs are administered through injection and a large amount of time is needed to recover after the procedure is over.

Ask your dentist if sedation dentistry is right for you and see what type of sedation they offer.


You’re Never Too Old for Cavities!

If you think that cavities are solely associated with children, think again! You may have made it through your younger years cavity-free, but it doesn’t mean that you are 100% safe from those painful decay formations.

Cavities are not found in children alone; they can occur at any age. According to Judith Jones, a general dentistry professor at Boston University, “it is as much of a problem in seniors as it is in kids.”

This is in part due to the rise in dental health education and technological advances over the past half a century, which have resulted in more people keeping their natural teeth longer. This puts them at a greater risk for dental decay as they age.

If left untreated or uncared for, cavities can lead to extreme discomfort and aches. But what is the root of this problem? Are there certain things we can do at every age to prevent these from occurring?

The first thing that we can try to adjust is our diet. From limiting your sugar intake, to avoiding sticky foods such as dried fruit or caramels, to decreasing your dose of acidic foods such as citrus fruits, small changes can ensure your teeth will stay in good condition for many years to come. Note that conditions such as dry mouth and recessed gums need to be brought to the attention of your dentist, as these too could put you at a higher risk for cavities!

Attempting to ward off cavities from forming may seem like a daunting task to keep up with, but we want to sustain our natural smiles for as long as possible. Remember to brush two to three times a day, floss regularly, and maintain yearly dental appointments—it is essential to your dental health whether you are 6 or 96! Cavities can form at any age, so take action now to prevent and preserve.


Dentists Finally Decide on The Proper Brushing Technique

When it comes to proper brushing technique, there are a lot of conflicting methods coming from different sources. Toothbrush companies say one thing, while your dentist may say another. Brushing in small circular motions, brushing in short strokes, which type of brush to use, how hard to brush, and when to do so are all questions that are answered differently across the dental community.

Researchers from UC London decided to clear up all this conflicting information once and for all. For something as basic as brushing, it seems silly that the dental community can’t come to a consensus on how to do so properly. There are plenty of complicated methods out there, but research has proven that simplicity is best. A gentle, horizontal scrub across all tooth surfaces is proven to be just as effective as small circles, short choppy strokes, etc. To avoid brushing too hard, the brush should be held in the pencil grip, not in a closed fist. Toothbrush bristles should be the soft variety, and be sure to buy a brush with a solid head as opposed to hollow.

The most important areas to hit are the biting surfaces and where the teeth met the gums. In terms of when you should brush after you’ve eaten/drank, the answer is it does not matter. While some dentists say brushing after meals helps prevent decay, the study shows that the acid produced when you eat food has already done whatever damage it’ll do within two minutes of your meal. So, brushing once in the morning and once before bed is still the best way to go. In conclusion, it would seem that the best way to approach brushing is to keep it simple. Be gentle, but thorough with horizontal brushing motions, and do it twice daily. Other than that, there’s not much else to it!


The Signs of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is known as the early stage of gum disease, a serious condition that affects the soft tissues surrounding your teeth. Hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer from gum disease, and for most patients, it is often preventable.

Before gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) sets in, its symptoms can be seen in the early signs of gingivitis. Early indicators of gingivitis include gums that bleed easily, bad breath, and red, swollen, and tender gums. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a trip to the dentist is warranted. Working with a dental professional on a treatment plan can prevent the tissue around your teeth from becoming inflamed and infected.

There are some habits, medical conditions, and medications that increase your risk of gum disease.

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Steroids
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer therapy drugs

While some of these risk factors are beyond your control, some can be eliminated to help keep teeth and gums clean and healthy. Talk to your dentist about preventing gingivitis today.


Is Sparkling Water Bad For Your Teeth?

America is in the midst of a very real craze that is bubbling throughout the nation: seltzer. Between seltzer waters and “spiked” alcoholic seltzer beverages, it’s time to bring something to everyone’s attention: the effects of fizzy drinks on your smile!

Indeed, retail sales of fizzy beverage grew 88% in the last six years, and Americans are drinking almost 170 gallons of it each year. There are now numerous companies offering dozens of flavors. Many roll out seasonal products each year to keep their product lines fresh and their customers happy. Spiked seltzers are actually similar in ABV to many beers!

However, what does this mean for your oral health? Does crushing a few cans of your favorite fizzy water come with any downsides?

Unfortunately, seltzer does come with one downside: acid. Seltzer is an acidic drink which can wear down tooth enamel. Fortunately, seltzer is a weak acid, and generally less erosive than soda beverages. However, citrus seltzer flavorings can increase the acidity levels of the beverage, so it’s important to note which flavors you are indulging on.

Despite the risk of enamel erosion, noticeable damage will only occur when the beverages are consumed over a long period of time, and unsweetened seltzers are always a healthier choice than a soda.

The best advice would be to try and limit your seltzer consumption in-between meals and drink plenty of plain water if you do not already do so. The good news is that if you are an otherwise healthy adult who limits their sugar and acid intake, it is unlikely that seltzers will be a main cause of cavities or other oral health problems.

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Chomping Habits

Teeth are very strong and powerful. Our teeth crush, tear, and cut up food, which makes our lives so much easier. But how much power are our teeth actually packing? Well, when it comes down to it, our teeth are way stronger than we ever expected.

When you chew, you run the risk of biting your lip, tongue, or even cheek, and when that happens it hurts. It hurts because the human bite when chewing exerts 70 pounds per square inch of force, that is pretty hard. The molars have the strongest biting impact. The rest of your teeth also make a dent if you bite your lip or cheek, but they are not packing as much power and force as your back teeth.

Our strong teeth help us eat and talk, but the strength that you exert can hurt your teeth too. Grinding your teeth can harm enamel, cause cavities, and hurt your jaw.
People who suffer from teeth grinding exert 6 to 10 times more force than they do when chewing which can seriously harm teeth.

While men have stronger bites than women, anyone is at risk of teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth or suspect that you might, then go to a dentist. They can help diagnose the condition and helps find a treatment that is right for you.


Social Anxiety and Teeth Grinding

Thousands of people deal with some form of anxiety. In addition to affecting the lives of those who deal with them, anxiety can be difficult to manage. However, something that people with anxiety disorders may not have realized is that their anxiety could be affecting their oral health.

Roughly one in six adult Americans are affected by an anxiety disorder, and this number encompasses anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder. A new study done by Tel Aviv University researchers found that anxiety experienced within social circumstances increased the risk of bruxism, known as teeth grinding.

If you have social anxiety and find yourself grinding your teeth as a result, then talk to your dentist about ways to treat bruxism. They may be able to help you find a treatment plan before your anxiety causes serious damage to your teeth.