Posts for: April, 2020
Most first-time root canal treatments achieve their purpose in saving an internally decayed tooth and extending its life to match those of the patient’s non-decayed teeth. Occasionally, though, a root canal-treated tooth may become re-infected by decay.
There are a number of reasons for this: the permanent crown meant to add further protection against decay may have been delayed, giving bacteria an opening to re-infect the tooth; it’s also possible the original seal for the pulp chamber and root canals after filling wasn’t sufficient to prevent bacterial contamination.
There‘s also another reason that’s very difficult to foresee — the presence of narrow, curved root canals in the tooth that can pose complications during the procedure. Some of these known as accessory or lateral canals branch off the main canals to create a complex network that’s difficult to detect during the initial procedure. If they’re not cleaned out and filled during the procedure any tissue trapped in them can remain infected and ultimately die. If these canals also open into the periodontal membrane at the attachment between the teeth and bone, the infection can spread there and become a periodontal (gum) infection that can trigger future tooth loss.
Fortunately, a reoccurrence of infection isn’t necessarily a death sentence for a tooth. A second root canal treatment can correct any problems encountered after the first treatment, especially complications from accessory canals. It may, though, require the advanced skills of an endodontist, a dental specialist in root canal problems. Endodontists use microscopic equipment to detect these smaller accessory canals, and then employ specialized techniques to fill and seal them.
If you encounter pain or other signs of re-infection for a tooth previously treated with a root canal procedure, contact us as soon as possible. The sooner we can examine and diagnose the problem, the better your tooth’s chances of survival by undergoing a second root canal treatment.
If you would like more information on tooth preservation through root canal treatment, 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 “Accessory Canals.”
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.”
Your oral health not only involves your teeth; it incorporates your gums, as well. Here at the Center for Cosmetic and Sedation Dentistry in Lawrenceville, Burford, and Dacula, GA, your six dentists emphasize diligent gum care. Brushing, flossing, and eating a healthy diet quell dangerous oral bacteria and their associated inflammation. Here are some important details:
The dangers of gum disease
Harvard Women's Health Watch notes that periodontal, or gum, disease is the biggest cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States. Puffy, red, receding gums are cardinal signs of periodontitis, but unfortunately, the inflammatory process stemming from oral bacteria starts sooner and more stealthily. Many people who come to our offices notice no symptoms, but their dentists detect them on oral examination.
Aside from causing discomfort, changes in dental bite, bad breath, and loose teeth, gum disease undermines jaw bone integrity. This degradation is the ultimate cause of tooth loss.
Additionally, the inflammation spreads through the body via the bloodstream, precipitating health problems such as:
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications
- Type-2 diabetes
As such, you and your dentist must prioritize gum care at home and at the office.
Keeping your gums healthy at home
- Brush your teeth and gums with a soft brush twice a day to remove sticky food residues.
- Floss every day with the product of your choice.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Stop smoking.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day as it increases saliva and its anti-microbial properties.
- Attend six-month cleaning and exam appointments with your dentist.
In-office care for gums
Your hygienic cleaning removes plaque and tartar. Your hygienist also measures your gum pockets with a small metal probe. A measurement of three millimeters or less is considered normal. If your pockets are deeper and you have other signs of gum problems, you need a deep cleaning.
Also called root planing and scaling, this restorative service removes dangerous biofilms from between your teeth and gums. Your dentist may add antibiotic medication at the gum line to stop infection.
For more advanced disease involving exposed roots and substantial gum recession, you may need gum grafting. Fortunately, Dr. Nooredin Nurani is our on-staff expert on the Chao Pinhole Surgery for advanced gum disease.
This innovative technique moves a portion of the patient's own gum tissue over to the area of recession, effectively covering it. The surgery is fast, comfortable and sutureless, too. Best of all, it allows for normal gum coverage of tooth roots.
Your gums and your smile
They depend on each other. So, for the best help in keeping them healthy, contact the Center for Cosmetic and Sedation Dentistry. We have three convenient offices in Lawrenceville, Burford, and Dacula, GA. For Lawrenceville, call (770) 995-1957, for the Burford location, phone (770) 932-8577, and in Dacula, call (770) 277-0800.
The allure of a beautiful smile attracts us all. It can mean everything from being asked to come in for another interview to a general self-esteem boost. Here at Center for Cosmetic and Sedation Dentistry in Lawrenceville, Buford, and Dacula, GA, our dentists make maintaining your oral health and appearance their mission, which is why they offer denture treatment—read on to learn more.
More about Dentures
Dentures replace missing teeth, help with chewing, support facial structure, and improve speech. Dentures are a cost-effective and custom-made durable solution. At our offices in Lawrenceville, Buford, and Dacula, GA, our dentists ensure that dentures offer the right shape, color, and size for a natural look.
Caring for Dentures:
Taking care of your dentures is as vital as caring for your teeth, as it can prevent future decay and other dental issues from affecting your gums and remaining teeth. Make sure that you rinse your dentures daily, brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush in order to remove food particles, and to use a non-abrasive cleanser to avoid scratching any of the surfaces. Additionally, you should always fully immerse your dentures in water when you are not wearing them in order to prevent warping.
If you use adhesive, regardless of whether it comes as a cream, powder, pad, wafer, strip, or liquid, read and follow instructions down to a T. Look for ADA-approved products to ensure that you are using a safe and effective product.
Finally, caring for dentures also involves a proper oral regimen. Brush your mouth thoroughly (that includes the gums, cheeks, and roof of your mouth) to reduce the risk of oral irritation and bad breath.
For more information on how to care for your dentures, contact your dentists in Lawrenceville, Buford, and Dacula, GA:
Gum recession is a serious oral condition in which the gums shrink back or “recede” from their normal position around the teeth. Because they're the primary protection for teeth below the enamel, this can expose the teeth to infection or cause painful sensitivity. And receded gums most certainly can diminish your smile.
But there are preventive measures you can adopt that might help you avoid this unpleasant condition. Here are 4 things you can do to minimize your risk for gum recession.
Practice daily oral hygiene. The main cause for recession is gum disease, a bacterial infection that weakens gum attachment to teeth. Gum disease usually arises from dental plaque, a thin bacterial film that builds up on teeth. Removing it every day with brushing and flossing minimizes the risk of gum disease and gum recession.
But don't overdo it. Although brushing is key to keeping your mouth healthy, too hard and too often can damage your gums and lead to recession. A little “elbow grease” may be appropriate for other cleaning tasks, but not your teeth—use gentle strokes and let the mild abrasives in your toothpaste do the main removal work. And avoid brushing more than twice a day.
See your dentist regularly. Your personal care efforts are a major part of preventing gum recession, but you can greatly increase the effect with professional dental care. That's because with even the best hygiene practice infections and other gum problems can still arise. You may also have inherited thinner gum tissues from your parents that increase your disease risk and bear closer monitoring.
Act quickly at the first signs of disease. Gum disease is a progressive disease, and it doesn't take long for it to become intrenched. The sooner it can be treated, the less likely you'll experience recession. So, make a dental appointment as soon as possible if you notice your gums are swollen, red or painful, or if they bleed easily after brushing.
There are ways to reverse gum recession. But many treatments like grafting surgery to regenerate new gum tissues can be quite involved and expensive. Following these tips can help you avoid gum recession altogether or stop it before it goes that far.
If you would like more information on how to avoid gum recession, 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 “Gum Recession: Getting Long in the Tooth.”