Damaged Dentin Causes Indecent Exposure Your teeth are made up of several layers. The incredibly hard, outer 'enamel' layer that allows you to bite and chew, the more porous 'dentin' layer that lies beneath the enamel and extends below the gumline, and the inner, soft tissue 'pulp' layer that contains all the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues to nourish the tooth. Exposed Dentin near the gum line Gum line recession If something happens to either of the outer protective layers, tiny tubules in the dentin layer allow underlying nerve endings to be exposed to air, hot, cold, and touch, resulting in a condition called 'sensitive teeth'. For example, if your enamel is chipped, cracked, or broken as a result of age, injury, or grinding, the underlying dentin may be partially exposed. Clenching, grinding, improper brushing, and receding gums can also allow the dentin to be exposed. Easy Does It Once the dentin is exposed, there's not much you can do to actually correct the situation. However, there are several ways to treat the symptoms themselves, easing sensitivity within a few weeks of treatment. First, we may suggest a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect your gums from further irritation and recession. Our office may also recommend a special toothpaste formulated to either block access to the nerve endings, or insulate the nerve itself. Finally, we may prescribe a fluoride rinse or gel for sensitive teeth. For a few weeks, as you wait for the special sensitivity toothpaste to take effect, it's wise to pay extra attention to what you eat and drink-- avoiding very hot or cold foods and beverages, stopping any habitual, conscious grinding or clenching, and brushing very gently with a soft [...]
Choosing a Toothpaste While toothpaste [dentifrice] is a valuable adjunct to a toothbrush in oral hygiene, it is the correct brushing action that removes the plaque [sticky mixture of bacteria, food & debris] from your teeth. Fluoride Any brand toothpaste that contains fluoride and the ADA Seal of Approval, to attest that there is evidence of its safety, reliability and effectiveness through clinical trials, is acceptable. It makes no difference if the toothpaste is a gel, paste or powder or which flavoring agent is used. However, from an individual motivational standpoint, and assuring its use, these characteristics may be important. Other than fluoride, which strengthens the enamel and fights decay, toothpastes contain abrasives to remove stain and polish the teeth and ingredients to leave the mouth with a clean, fresh feeling. Sensitive Teeth If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, choose a desensitizing paste with either strontium chloride or potassium nitrate as an added ingredient. Expect about 4-6 weeks to see real improvement. Tartar Control There are brands of toothpaste that advertise “tartar control” and usually have the active ingredient pyrophosphate. While it will not remove tartar, studies have shown it will reduce tartar formation up to 36%. Tartar [calculus] can only be removed with a professional prophylaxis [cleaning]. Abrasiveness Many toothpastes now contain baking soda, which is less abrasive. This is advantageous for reducing tooth sensitivity in people with gum recession or those who have eroded their teeth by rigorous brushing with an abrasive toothpaste. Whitening Bleaching teeth to make them lighter has become popular. If you desire a whitening toothpaste, look for the active whitening agents of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These toothpastes serve best to maintain the tooth shade [...]
There are two major dental concerns for pregnant woman - avoiding dental emergencies and treatment in the last trimester and preventing periodontal [gum] disease. If you are trying to become pregnant or have recently learned that you are, try to schedule a dental check-up and a prophylaxis [cleaning] within the first trimester. It is better to have dental work completed within the 4th to 6th month of your pregnancy than having to deal with potential complications from anesthesia, medication or extensive procedures during your last trimester. If you have a dental emergency in the 3rd trimester, consult your obstetrician and call us. Definitely postpone all elective procedures until after you give birth. It is common for pregnant women to develop pregnancy gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of your gums and surrounding tissues that is characterized by redness, swelling, tenderness and bleeding. The primary cause is an increased level of hormones - especially estrogen and progesterone, which correlates with an increase in dental plaque [sticky mixture of bacteria, food & debris]. This condition starts to become evident in the 2nd trimester. If you had pre-existing gingivitis prior to your pregnancy, it will probably worsen. Left untreated, it could lead to bone loss around the teeth. Pregnant women also risk developing Pregnancy tumors, that are benign growths that arise out of swollen gums. Normally, the treatment is to leave them alone until they break on their own. However, if they interfere with eating or oral hygiene, we may have to surgically remove them. Prevention To prevent or minimize pregnancy gingivitis, take extra care and time with good brushing and flossing techniques to remove the plaque. It is advisable to have a professional prophylaxis [cleaning] in the 1st [...]
Welcome to the new website for Mill Creek Dental! We hope that you find this site easy to navigate. Use it to request appointments, check our office hours, and learn about what types of services we provide for you. This is our office blog, we will use it to let you know about special services that we provide, inform you of advances in dentistry and to tell you about things going on within our office and give you some insight into our wonderful team. We are always accepting new patients and strive to provide the best quality dental care in a comfortable and warm setting. We care about you and your oral health. Oral health is part of overall health and well-being. Thank you for visiting our site, we hope to see you soon!