Healthy, normal teeth have living tissues inside the pulp and they play important roles in the development of a tooth. They also cause you to feel pain and discomfort when you have a toothache or whenever you eat or drink something really cold or hot. When these nerves and other living tissues die or are removed (under a root canal treatment), they will cause the tooth to die.
What Causes a Tooth to Die?
According to Sterling Heights dentist, Dr. Farhat, dental trauma and decay are the two main culprits which can cause a tooth to die.
Dental trauma caused by sports injuries, assault, or a huge fall or slip can cause the blood supply to the tip of the root to be severed, resulting in the pulp and tooth dying off. In cases of severe tooth decay, bacteria will get too near the nerve or pulp. The pulp will try to get rid of the bacteria, but without proper treatment, all it can do is to choke the blood vessels by raising the internal pressure. Unfortunately, this will cause the blood supply to be cut off and the pulp will eventually die.
In some cases, gum disease and excessive clenching can also cause the death of a tooth.
Signs and Symptoms of a dead tooth
You will know if a tooth is dying or is already dead if you see or experience these signs and symptoms:
- Tooth discoloration or darkening. It can turn into a shade of yellow, gray, or black.
- Pain or discomfort. It can vary from mild to severe, especially at the time when the nerve is dying or there is already an abscess in the tooth.
- Some swelling, a bad taste, odor, and a “pimple” on the gum which may be caused by an infection or pus.
Treatment for a dead tooth
So what happens after a tooth dies? Once the nerve is dead, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort when eating and drinking something that is too hot or cold. However, you still need to see your dentist since you have a tooth with a dead nerve inside it which will begin to rot soon.
Root canal treatment may be recommended if you don’t want to lose the dead tooth. This procedure will effectively deal with the bacterial infection and remove the decayed section of the pulp, thereby preserving the dead tooth. The discoloration can be addressed through teeth whitening or the application of a veneer if the dead tooth is in front.
Extraction is the recommended procedure if the tooth is already severely decayed and is beyond repair. However, the extracted tooth has to be replaced with a dental implant or crown to replace the missing bone tissue and to allow the patient to have a complete, functional set of teeth again.
Dental Care Over 50: Common Dental Problems And Tips For Avoiding Them
Prioritizing good oral hygiene is something that you should never stop doing, regardless of your age. Whether you still have a complete set of teeth or most of them are artificial, proper oral care is still important to retain the good health of your teeth and to avoid possible dental problems.
Top Dental Issues for People Over 50 and How to Avoid Them
Dental care over 50 is pretty much the same as with any age; practicing good oral hygiene and paying regular visits to your dentist are crucial. However, once you reach the age of 50, you have to be wary of these usual dental problems:
If you’re over 50, you can get dental caries and decay on the surfaces of your teeth that have never been a problem before. They can also develop around old fillings, crowns, and bridgework, and at the root of your tooth. This is because as you age, the root of your tooth becomes softer and more exposed.
To minimize or avoid tooth decay, you can try fluoride gels or toothpaste and rinses. You would also do well to start having a well-balanced, mineral-rich diet and getting plenty of vitamin D. Your dentist can also prescribe specialized dental gels or varnishes that you can apply to your roots and teeth to prevent the start of tooth decay.
Dry mouth or Xerostomia
The normal process of aging slows down the production of saliva in the mouth. Certain medications, smoking, and other health problems can further expedite this condition. Saliva contains the minerals calcium and phosphate which prevent demineralization in the teeth and thwart the growth of cavities. If you have dry mouth, you are more at risk of developing tooth decay.
Common symptoms of dry mouth include difficulties swallowing, a sticky feeling in your mouth, dry throat, and having dry, cracked lips.
If you have dry mouth, you have to stimulate saliva production. This means staying fully hydrated by sipping water all day. Chewing sugar-free xylitol gum can also help. You can also ask your dentist to prescribe a saliva substitute or recommend an over-the-counter formulation that can help you get the saliva and moisture flowing again.
As you get older, your risk for gum disease becomes higher, especially if you smoke, have poor dental hygiene habits, crowded teeth, and dry mouth. If you already have gingivitis (an early form of gum disease) and you leave this issue untreated, it can progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious dental problem wherein the gum pulls away from the tooth and creates pockets which can become infected. Serious cases of this dental condition can also cause the loss of bones in the jaw and teeth loss, even of healthy ones, since your teeth get so loose they simply fall out.
Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent the start of gum diseases. It is important that your dentist checks your gums at least twice a year to look for signs of infections or inflammations and provide treatment as early as possible.
People over 50 also have to be wary of oral cancer and tooth crowding. A Sterling Heights dentist will be able to diagnose various dental problems early before they can become serious and educate you about taking better care of your teeth.
Listerine is the most popular brand of mouthwash. You see it in nearly all medicine cabinets or bathroom counters, from homes to hotels to hospitals and dental clinics. The small bottles are also quite handy; you can place them in your bag and use it to gargle with after a meal, allowing you to have instant fresh breath wherever you are.
But aside from giving you fresh breath and helping keep your teeth plaque-free and your gums healthy, there are other uses for Listerine that are quite surprising and you may not even know about. These include the following:
As an anti-dandruff solution.
In the past, Listerine was marketed as a product that can help you get rid of dandruff. This solution didn’t really gain popularity but various studies show that this is an effective solution. If you want to try this remedy, combine ¼ cup Listerine and 1 cup of water and rinse your hair and scalp with the mixture. Afterwards, rinse your hair thoroughly.
As a lice removal product.
Nothing can be more uncomfortable and embarrassing than having lice nesting on your hair. The good news is that you don’t have to buy shampoo that will help you get rid of them; you can use Listerine. Simply apply the mouthwash to your lice-infested hair and cover it with a shower cap. Leave the treatment on your hair for at least an hour and then rinse your hair thoroughly with water.
As a skincare product.
Because of its ingredients, you can use Listerine as an alternative to your usual toner or astringent. Its alcohol content, in particular, can clean your pores and help you get rid of bothersome, unsightly acne. Your skin will also smell fresh after every use, too.
As an anti-itch remedy.
If you’re feeling itchy on some parts of your body because of bug bites, rashes or poison ivy, dab some mouthwash on the affected area. You’ll get instant relief and experience its cooling and soothing effects immediately.
As a deodorant.
You don’t have to fret and run to the nearest supermarket or drugstore if you run out of deodorant. If you have a ready stock of Listerine, simply soak a cotton ball in the product and dab the cotton ball under your arms. You can also pour the mouthwash into an empty spray bottle and spray your armpits with the solution. Listerine helps prevent body odors since it kills the bacteria that produce these bad smells.
As an anti-fungal product.
Lastly, some people suffer from toenail fungus. If you have this problem, soak your feet in Listerine for at least 30 minutes every day. The ingredients in the mouthwash will help you get rid of toenail fungus. Your feet will smell better, too.
Listerine is known as an oral care product. But it can easily be a versatile healthcare product as long as you know how to use it properly. To learn more, contact your sterling heights dentist today!
How Often Do I Need My Teeth Cleaned?
Caring for your dental health involves activities that must be performed regularly in order to ensure positive results. It’s something that has been taught to us since we were little. We eat three meals or more every day, so we have to brush our teeth after each of those meals so that all food remnants can be removed and bacteria can be prevented from settling in. And on top of brushing, there’s also flossing, using mouthwash, and other related habits.
But while keeping your own teeth and gums clean and healthy is your responsibility, your trusted dentist is always ready to provide valuable services that do much to help you meet your oral health goals. One of these crucial services is a regular teeth cleaning.
What happens during a routine cleaning session?
Your dentist will make use of professional tools to achieve a level of clean that would be impossible to achieve from just brushing and flossing. These tools will be able to remove stubborn build-up of plaque, tartar and bacteria. Combined with your diligent brushing and flossing at home every day, a regular cleaning done by the dentist can better protect you from dental problems like tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum (or periodontal) disease.
How often do I need my teeth cleaned?
According to the American Dental Association, getting your teeth examined and cleaned by the dentist once a year is sufficient for ensuring your continued oral health.
There are, however, some situations wherein more frequent teeth cleaning sessions would be recommended:
When you smoke.
Smoking is a sure way to cause permanent stains on your teeth as well as other oral health problems. While completely quitting smoking would be the top prescription, dentists can also sit down with you and discuss a proper, more frequent teeth cleaning program if you are unable to quit smoking.
When you have a history of gum disease.
You are more vulnerable to repeated bouts of gum infection or disease if you have experienced them before and fail to properly care for your teeth. In this case, the dentist may encourage more frequent visits for professional teeth cleaning.
When you suffer from a chronic health condition.
Diabetes and heart disease are examples of chronic conditions that are linked to dental problems. Seeing a dentist more often for thorough teeth cleaning is more important in this situation.
Does professional teeth cleaning hurt?
Some patients report experiencing increased gum sensitivity after getting their teeth cleaned. This is due to the removal of a considerable amount of bacteria that settled into your mouth; also, the process involves the use of instruments on your teeth and gums. The enhanced sensitivity can also come with bleeding. However, the sensitivity and bleeding typically stops= one or two days after cleaning.
Missing out on these important professional teeth cleaning procedures may lead to more serious dental problems along the way; in such instances, it may be necessary to get more than just a routine cleaning. You might need to a procedure called scaling and root planing which must be done on the root surface of the teeth.
Schedule a visit with your Sterling Heights dentist for professional cleaning. You can also speak with your dentist about the best ways to keep your mouth healthy.
Deep Cleaning at the Dentist
Brushing and flossing are not enough. No matter how vigilant and disciplined you are about your at-home dental cleaning routine, tartar or plaque can still accumulate. The main culprits would be those hard-to-reach areas in the mouth — the most careful and meticulous person still won’t be able to get to them and remove the food debris and bacteria stuck in the crevices between the gums and teeth. What you need is a clear view of the mouth interiors, and special instruments and techniques to loosen those deposits, completely remove every foreign particle and carry out general cleaning and polishing. All these can be done only by undergoing deep cleaning at the dentist clinic.
Deep dental cleaning is a preventive measure
It is not simply an add-on or an optional procedure. Everyone needs to undergo deep cleaning, even those with the best dental health, because of the reasons mentioned. It is an essential investment you must make if you want to avoid serious complications such as plaque, tartar, gum irritation, gingivitis, bleeding and gum disease.
Preparing for Teeth Whitening
Your local Sterling Heights dentist has deemed you eligible for teeth whitening. You know and understand how the treatment works, as well as the pros and cons (including potential side effects). Now, what do you need to do before the actual treatment process?
Before starting with your teeth whitening treatment, there are a few essential things that need to be done in order to ensure a successful treatment.
Teeth Whitening Preparation Essentials
Prior to your whitening treatment, you need to see your dentist first. During this consultation, your dentist will speak with you about how to proceed with the treatment while factoring in your unique circumstance. If you are currently having some dental issues, your dentist will provide you with different options to choose from.
During this exam, your dentist may evaluate your gum health, check for the presence of tooth decay, perform diagnostic x-rays, check your existing restorations, and screen you for oral cancer.
Next, you will need to have your teeth professionally cleaned. The type of cleaning will depend on the condition of your teeth. For patients whose teeth have accumulated tartar, scaling is recommended as the best treatment. On the other hand, if you have gum diseases and pockets around your teeth have deepened, your dentist will recommend root planing.
Both scaling and root planing are classified under soft tissue management which is considered as the best way to treat gum disease before it worsens. Some patients may also require teeth polishing to remove stains and plaque which cannot be removed through brushing and scaling.
Getting your teeth cleaned prior to teeth whitening will allow you to achieve better results. In fact, the presence of plaque and tartar can undermine the success of the whitening treatment. This is why you should have your teeth cleaned before, and not after, teeth whitening.
The Final Preperation Step
After all of these, the final step you need to undertake before proceeding with the whitening treatment is to choose a color from the shade guide. You start out by choosing a shade that closely matches your teeth. After that, you will need to select the shade that will be your final goal for the treatment. You can go from one shade lighter or more. After the whitening treatment, you can compare your final results with the shade you have initially chosen as your goal.
The right preparation will help guarantee successful treatment. Undergoing these steps prior to whitening will not only ensure the restoration of your teeth’s luster but their health as well. If you haven’t had a teeth whitening consultation with the dental professionals at Dental1Care in Sterling Heights, what are you waiting for? Call their office today!
The Importance of Routine Dental Cleanings According to Experts in Family Dentistry
Good oral health is a must for all members of the family, and routine dental cleanings are a crucial aspect to ensuring this goal.
Why? Specialists in Sterling Heights family dentistry explain:
It’s a reliable preventive method.
Most dental issues arise because routine cleanings are not carried out as advised by the dentist. Cavities, in particular, can be avoided with the help of regular oral prophylaxis. But other oral woes like embarrassing gingivitis — or worse, periodontitis — can also be prevented if a hygienist or dentist often inspects the teeth.
Routine cleanings can make all members of the family more comfortable about going to the dentist.
This can prevent dental phobia, especially among young children whose first idea of a dental visit is likely derived from cartoons. The little ones that get to accompany their older siblings to the dentist for routine cleanings tend to demonstrate less fear or anxiety than those whose first visit to the clinic is for their own treatment. There’s nothing like completely pain-free routine cleanings to establish that the dental clinic is a safe place.
Routine dental cleanings can reinforce good oral habits.
It’s hard to hide the fact that you haven’t been flossing or brush as you were told to from your dental hygienist or family dentist. They will remind you of how important it is to perform these tasks, along with the benefits of upholding these habits. Frequent reminders are reliably helpful in the formation of good habits.
Routine cleanings can save you a significant amount of money
Routine cleanings can save you a significant amount of money because you and your family will be less likely to get expensive corrective treatments in the future. You reduce the likelihood of damaging or losing teeth due to cavities, which typically lead to costly veneers, dental bridges or implants.
Routine cleanings can be very educational.
You’re likely to find out other things you can to do to improve your family’s oral health. Your dentist can recommend a diet to further strengthen teeth, or new dental products on the market worth trying out, or accessories you should be using based on the various activities you or your children take part in. For example, you have a child who’s into competitive contact sports; routine cleaning can reveal the impact of these sports on the health of your child’s teeth. Likewise, you’ll be informed about the new routine your child needs to protect his teeth from injury or other types of damage, as well as the accessories he should be using.
Now that you understand the importance of routine dental cleanings, perhaps it is time to reach out to your local Sterling Heights dentist and schedule your next appointment!