Human teeth are surprisingly strong. Just take a look at the diverse array of food that your teeth can cut, chew and break down into smaller pieces – from meats to veggies and fruits to nuts.
That is not to say that your teeth are invulnerable. No. Your teeth can be damaged over time due to poor care, or in an instant due to injuries or accidents.
Teeth can become broken or cracked due to different reasons.
For example, the surface of a tooth can get cracked to its root. Left unchecked, this can lead to a split tooth — here, there is a visible separation of the affected tooth into segments and it can no longer be saved.
A vertical root fracture, on the other hand, occurs when the crack begins at the tooth’s root, extending toward the chewing surface.
Whatever the cause of your broken tooth, getting it examined as soon as possible is crucial to avoid further complications like infections and extensive damage.
Here are a few broken tooth repair options that your Sterling Heights dentist may recommend.
Dental bonding is a procedure that is used for a variety of conditions including the treatment of discolored, misshapen, and broken teeth.
This procedure entails the application of a putty on the affected tooth which will then be molded and smoothed. Your dentist will then use ultraviolet light to cure and harden the putty.
Another option available for people with broken teeth is veneers. Veneers are thin shells that may be made out of different materials and are used to cover the front surface of a tooth.
Veneers are quite popular among patients and dentists for their durability.
Dentists recommend the use of crowns for teeth that have been chipped extensively and to patients who experience pain when chewing and/or drinking.
Essentially, a crown serves as a cap or cover for the affected tooth, providing both protection and enhancement of the appearance of the tooth.
If the crack on the tooth extends toward its pulp, your dentist may recommend root canal treatment. This treatment can help prevent infections which could then lead to complications like an abscess and bone loss.
Contrary to what some patients may believe, a root canal is not painful. At the hands of an experienced professional, you may experience just a slight discomfort while the decayed tooth matter and nerves are removed.
If the tooth is beyond repair due to extensive damage, your only recourse may be to have it extracted.
Fortunately, when you have a tooth extracted, there are a few options you can choose from when it comes to replacing it, including dental implants.
Among the different tooth replacement options, dental implants provide good value for your money by restoring the natural appearance and function of teeth, on top of their unmatched durability.
Aging diminishes one’s physical health in so many ways; this is why it’s essential for seniors to be more conscientious of their lifestyle and habits.
To ensure good health even in old age, one of the most important components is proper oral care. With proper oral care, periodontal disease — which is often linked to flare-ups of cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and cancer (illnesses that commonly plague the elderly) — can be prevented.
Here are 10 important oral care tips for seniors that a trusted dentist in Sterling Heights, MI strongly recommends:
- Daily brushing is a must – even for those who wear full dentures. Brush twice a day to keep the mouth free from bacteria.
- Floss once a day. For those who still have most of their original teeth, flossing is imperative in preventing calcular deposits from resulting in tooth decay.
- Switch to “sensitive teeth and gums” products. Stop using those hard bristle toothbrushes and switch to soft bristle ones. Also, if flossing is proving to be tricky, switch from traditional dental floss to air floss. This air floss is better for people with compromised fine motor skills; it releases jet streams of water to dislodge food particles between teeth without hurting the gums.
- Use the right toothpaste formula. For those with dry mouth, it’s better to use a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for it.
- Visit the dentist regularly. Older folks are more prone to oral cancer, so it’s imperative to go to the dentist on a regular schedule for oral screening, cleaning, and other necessary treatments. It’s important to make dental visits regularly as well to make sure that gum recession is addressed. Gum recession is highly likely for older people and this can expose teeth roots, making teeth hyper sensitive.
- Use special mouth rinse products to maintain the healthy pH balance of the mouth, as well as keep breath fresh.
- Quit smoking. For those who still can’t kick the habit, it’s crucial to do so as soon as possible. Smoking not only dehydrates the mouth, which makes it the perfect environment for bacteria growth, but it can create other health issues as well.
- Improve diet. Bread is an enemy because it can contribute to the fast development of plaque and tartar. Eat more fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals to keep gums and teeth healthy.
- Drink water often. This will do the body a lot of good and it can help flush out bacteria from the mouth and maintain healthy pH levels.
- Chew a freshening, sugar-free gum after eating. This will stimulate the salivary glands to produce more saliva to maintain the mouth’s appropriate pH level, and at the same time, more saliva in the mouth will help dislodge food debris between teeth and gums.
There you have it — 10 oral care tips for a healthy mouth. Seniors are advised to follow them all consistently in order to effectively prevent oral health woes.
Dental issues can cost a small fortune to remedy. But according to a trusted Sterling Heights dentist, Dr. Farhat, this should not always be the case, especially for dental problems which can be easily prevented.
In fact, preventative dental care for seniors can lead to bigger savings for retirees who can use the extra money for other important matters like their medication for other health issues or even for travel.
How, exactly, can seniors save more money through preventative dental care?
It may sound counter intuitive, but regular dental cleaning with your dentist can actually save you more money over the long term. The main reason behind this is that a dentist can identify and rectify smaller problems which are less expensive to treat before these spiral out of control and lead to larger costs.
For instance, regular visits to a dentist can help prevent periodontal disease which affects not just a person’s oral health but also his or her overall health. The disease has been linked to other medical problems, including diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Schedule now, save long term
And on the converse side of the coin, if you delay getting proper dental treatment, minor dental issues can eventually get out of hand, requiring treatments which cost a fortune.
But for some seniors, a visit to the dentist does not usually rank high in their order of priorities. Seniors who live on a fixed income often find the cost of dental care prohibitive.
It also does not help that much attention to preventative care has been traditionally marketed to younger people. This narrow focus across the industry may have helped increase the number of senior citizens who require expensive dental treatments like dentures, or dental implants.
The addition to preventative dental care, dental insurance can help greatly, in terms of taking care of the bulk of the expenses. More importantly, this can improve the oral health of seniors.
But apart from preventative dental care, there are a few other things that people from different demographics can do to keep both dental problems and the steep cost of some treatments at bay.
For one, you should practice good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. We recommend twice daily.
Second (and finally), you can make various diet and lifestyle modifications. For instance, you can quit your smoking habit. You can also make smarter food choices which improve not only your oral health but your overall health and wellness as well. Consider limiting your intake of sweets and starchy foods and add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. This will benefit you in many ways not just your oral health.
If you are a Senior in the Sterling Heights, MI area looking for a Dentist near you, give us a call, we will be happy to get you in for an initial consultation.
How Can I Get Rid Of Gaps In My Teeth?
Apart from undermining the confidence in your smile, tooth gaps can lead to tooth misalignment. When there is a gap in the front teeth, the other teeth that are about to emerge may not have enough room. This can affect a person’s bite later on.
But what exactly causes gaps between teeth?
According to a Sterling Heights dentist, there are several possible causes of gaps between teeth. Commonly, people have gaps between their teeth due to natural development, especially in children. Over time, these gaps are filled in by the emergence of other teeth.
In other cases, these gaps can be caused by missing teeth. Other people have extra teeth which prevent other teeth from emerging. This can create gaps. Some children have relatively smaller teeth which can create gaps while other children have large jaws.
A condition known as restrictive fraenum may also cause gaps between the front teeth of the lower jaw. Here, the lingual fraenum attached to the tongue prevents it from poking beyond the lips. People suffering from periodontal disease have a high risk of tooth loss. In turn, the loss of teeth can cause the remaining teeth to drift apart from each other.
Other Possible Causes
Other possible causes of gaps between teeth include hereditary factors, incorrect swallowing, and long-term thumb sucking. You might ask, “How can I get rid of the gaps in my teeth?” There are cases wherein the gaps close by themselves, especially among children. Others simply leave their gapped teeth as is.
However, if you are embarrassed by the gap between your teeth, there are a few options that your dentist in Sterling Heights can recommend, depending on your unique circumstance.
For example, if the cause of your tooth gaps can be attributed to tooth or jaw size, orthodontics is often the recommended solution.
If the cause of the gap is the thick layer of skin between the teeth, you may have to undergo oral surgery to remove the skin from the bone. This operation is a simple procedure and not as painful as it may sound. In kids, the growth of the teeth will allow the problem to resolve on its own. But in adults, the use of braces is often recommended after healing.
Finally, you can opt for dental veneers. Here, wafer-thin porcelain, which approximates the color of your teeth, is placed over your own teeth to change their appearance, including the size, shape, color, and length.
What Are Veneers?
If you’re in search of a healthy dental solution that will transform the look of your teeth, a Sterling Heights dentist recommends veneers.
What Are Veneers Made Of?
Veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials intended to serve as a nice “façade” for imperfect teeth. They are bonded to the front of the teeth so an ideal appearance is achieved. Dental technicians make sure that veneers look very natural by basing the color on your own original teeth’s color. Professionals will also shape or size them to meet your specific requirements
Dental veneers are either made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. The difference between these two options, according to a dentist in Sterling Heights, is that the former is more stain-resistant and it really looks more like natural teeth. The latter, meanwhile, does not require more shaping of your original teeth in order to be attached in place. Therefore, if the appearance of your teeth is a bigger priority for you, then porcelain is the material you should choose. However, if you wish to preserve your original teeth better, then resin composite materials are the more appropriate choice.
This dental solution is ideal for the following teeth issues:
- Discolored teeth due to an injury, root canal treatment, stains from powerful drugs, and other natural causes.
- Worn down teeth due to bruxism and nail-biting.
- Chipped or broken tooth from chewing on pencils or ice and treating teeth as tools for opening things.
- Irregularly shaped, misaligned, or irregularly shaped teeth.
- Teeth with gaps between them (just like Madonna back in the eighties).
Unlike other solutions, this option has a much shorter process. If you want a glimpse into the final result of this solution, there are dentists that provide a trial run with temporary options. These temporary solutions can be worn for several hours. As for the actual veneers that you’ll be wearing for a long time. It really just takes a day for them to be attached after you’ve thoroughly discussed what you want.
Attaching dental veneers requires some preparation. Your teeth need to be resized so the veneers align nicely with the rest of your original teeth. This procedure really just takes a couple of hours. After that, veneers will be bonded to the reshaped or resized teeth and you’re good to go.
You can expect dental veneers to last up to 10 years, especially if they are properly maintained. They don’t require special care, but do avoid foods that stain, especially if you’ve opted to use resin composite material.
Contact your local Sterling Heights dentist to discuss which cosmetic dentistry option is the right option for you.