Can Your Dentin Heal?

Dentin is the hard tissue that forms on your tooth. You should have plenty of this located under your tooth’s enamel (your tooth’s hard, outer layer). This is important because it is the second hardest layer of your tooth (second only to the enamel itself).

It’s responsible for protecting your tooth’s pulp (the soft, inner part of your tooth).

How Dentin Becomes Damaged

One of the major reasons your dentin may become damaged is due to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or heartburn. When this acid comes back into your mouth from your stomach it’ll wear away your tooth’s enamel.

Left unchecked, it can also eat through and damage your dentin. This can result in a significant amount of damage. If this isn’t what’s damaged your dentin, it may be that you have bacteria growing in your mouth, which will result in tooth decay.

Healing Your Dentin

Once your tooth decay has reached the dentin, it isn’t easy to repair. Unlike tooth enamel, which is incapable of repairing itself, your dentin can regenerate. Unfortunately, this will only happen within a limited capacity though.

This is why you’ll want to talk to us when you’re having any issues with your dentin and any damage to it has occurred. Fortunately, today we are able to engineer tissues.

We also know more about dental stem cells than we’ve ever known about it in the past. As such, we’re better equipped to help you regenerate your dentin today than in the past.

Even when you have dentin exposed in a tooth you can slowly have it repaired. However, we must stress that this is a slow process.

Of course, this doesn’t deemphasize its importance because you must remember that this is a natural way in which your tooth is protected.

Fortunately, it isn’t urgent for this to happen right away though.

Coconut Water Could Be The Ultimate Secret Weapon for Great Oral Health

If you’re like us, you’re always looking for ways to improve your oral health. You brush your teeth twice a day, every day. You floss. You go to your dentist twice a year for checkups, and you make sure that you are eating properly.

You drink plenty of water as well. So what else could you possibly do to make your oral health any better? Coconut Water. Coconut water not only works to protect your mouth, it also works to protect your body in general.

Why is Coconut Water Good For You?

There are a couple of reasons why coconut water is good for you. First, coconut water with a little sodium added has been proven to be better for your overall health than sports drinks are. Coconut water has potassium in it, which over time, works to lower blood pressure, and balances out the electrolytes in your system. Also, because coconut water has no added sugars, your mouth will thank you, because drinking sugar adds to the sugar in your mouth, which helps to feed the bacteria in your mouth and causes cavities.

Coconut water also increases the amount of saliva in your mouth, which aids in keeping your teeth as bacteria free as possible. Coconut water also helps to wash away bacteria, which leaves your mouth healthier. Coconut water is able to accomplish all of this without costing you empty calories the way sports drinks do. Some people drink sports drinks all day, adding hundreds of calories to their diet.

If you are looking for ways to improve your overall dental health, why not give us a call? We would love to talk to you about coconut water, or water in general, as tools for you to use to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Give us a call today.

How Nuts Can Help Your Teeth When You Eat Them As Snacks

Do you regularly snack? If so, then you may want to make sure you are eating as healthy of snacks as possible. Snacks not only add to your daily calorie count, but they also add to the nutritional possibilities your body gets each day.

If you pick healthy snacks, it gives your body the ability to eat something good and feel better for it. One of the best options you can eat when you are munchy for a snack is nuts. They provide you a lot of good nutrition, plus they offer a special bonus to your teeth.

What Nuts Can Do to Help Your Teeth

When you go through and chew up nuts, the texture of nuts also scrubs your teeth. The more you chew, the cleaner your teeth become. When you regularly eat nuts, you can actually wind up with cleaner teeth than if you went with most other snacks.

Plus, nuts are also able to provide you with some of the more difficult to find nutrients, like Omega fatty acids. You can also include nuts in your regular meals to add them into more parts of your diet.

Try adding some chia seeds into your breakfast, almonds into your lunch, and walnuts into your dinner. Your body, not just your teeth, will reap the rewards.

If you want to see what else nuts can do to improve your oral health, give our office a call. We can talk to you about the benefits of nuts, and other items that you could add into your day that would give you similar benefits.

The more you are able to clean your teeth as you eat, the easier brushing will be, and the less work we will have to do during your exams and cleanings. Call our office today!

Rinsing With Water Right After Brushing is Not Good For Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are vital to maintaining good oral health. When you are done brushing, you may want to reach for that little tumbler of water to rinse your mouth, but stop! Before you go rinsing your mouth after a good brushing, there are a few things you need to know.

Fluoridated Tooth Paste

When you are choosing a toothpaste for your daily brushing, be sure that you choose a paste that has been recommended by the American Dental Association.

Check the label and make sure that your favorite paste also has fluoride in it, because, even as an adult, your teeth need it. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel in your teeth, preventing plaque, tartar and bacteria from attaching and causing tooth decay.

So what happens if you take your time, floss between every tooth, brush for the full two minutes and then spit and rinse? Well, all that hard work, all of the fluoride that you just applied to your teeth, goes swirling down the drain with the water. Instead of rinsing with water, simply spit out the toothpaste and be done. If you absolutely need a rinse after brushing, we suggest that you purchase a fluoridated mouth rinse to use in the place of plain water. However, it is best if you do not rinse at all for at least 30 minutes after brushing.

The bottom line is that the most important part of your oral health care is making sure that you are brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Studies have shown that it is best not to rinse after brushing because that rinses away the fluoride that you have just applied to your teeth.

Give our office a call if you have any questions about what fluoridated toothpaste you should choose, and do not forget to schedule your next cleaning!

Chewing on Ice Can Damage All Parts of Your Mouth

A lot of people like to chew ice. For some of us, it takes us back to childhood, when we used to crunch ice from our slushies. While crunching ice may bring us memories of a happy childhood, in reality, crunching ice is not good for you. Crunching ice is really not good for our dental health.

In fact, crunching ice can cause significant damage to your entire mouth, not just your teeth. Not sure how that works? Keep reading. We can give you some information on why ice chewing is bad for your oral health.

Why Chewing Ice Cubes is Bad for Your Mouth

First, chewing ice puts a lot of pressure on your teeth. This is bad for your teeth, because while the spongy inside of your teeth is flexible, the enamel that covers your teeth is not. Chewing ice may not hurt your teeth the first time you do it, but over time, it can wear out the enamel just as if you’ve been grinding your teeth for months. Also, one wrong chomp on a piece of ice could result in a chip or a fracture in your tooth enamel.

Second, if you chew ice on a regular basis, you can cause wearing of your teeth as well, no matter how small the pieces are. This is because chewing ice causes a repetition of hot and cold cycles in your mouth. These hot and cold cycles mean that your tooth enamel is expanding and contracting between cycles. If your mouth has fillings, they expand and contract at a different rate than the enamel. These can lead to microcracks. Chewing ice can also reduce the life of your fillings.

Reasons You May Chew Ice

It has been found that low iron levels can create a desire to chew ice. Emotional stress and other nutritional issues may also play a role. If you can’t break the habit a trip to your physician may be in order.

Ice Can Harm Other Dental Components As Well

If you are one of the many adults who wear braces, or have partials, you need to know that chewing ice can damage these as well. Brackets can break, and wires can move when you chew ice. Pieces of metal or partial plates can break off and damage your teeth cheeks and tongue.

Also, because pieces of ice can be sharp, the shards can cut your gums, tongue, soft palate or cheek. If you have questions about chewing ice, why not give us a call? We would love to talk to you about your ice chewing habit.

How a Numb Tooth is Treated

A happy patient after she overcame her dental anxiety.If your teeth have gone numb, you may be feeling despair and defeat, wondering what your next step is and if any options are available. There are several treatment options, ranging from simple procedures to more severe, permanent alterations.

Preventative Care

The easiest way to avoid needing treatment is to avoid injuring or harming the tooth in the first place. When engaging in sports that may injure your mouth be sure to wear the proper safety gear. You should also make sure to practice dental hygiene, brushing twice a day and flossing daily to ensure that bacteria don’t build up to the point that more invasive methods are needed.

Drilling to the Root of the Problem

Most commonly, the solution to a numbed or deadened tooth is not necessarily to treat that tooth, but to ensure that the problem cannot go on to other teeth, by a process called a root canal. During a root canal, we remove the pulp and surrounding infected matter of your dead tooth, then fill the inside with gutta-percha (a natural latex polymer) and seal it to ensure that the infection does not spread to other teeth.

This is not always a viable solution, however. Sometimes, the dead tooth will have to removed entirely, via a tooth extraction. If this happens, we typically replace the lost tooth with an implant or bridge. For particularly severe cases, a partial or full denture may be required to prevent your good teeth from shifting around or loosening, or bone and gingiva loss which can lead to more problems in the future.

If your tooth is numb, you should contact us immediately before the problem has a chance to escalate further, to see what treatment we recommend to save your mouth from permanent, potentially disfiguring damage.

Wisdom Tooth Pain

Woman suffering from wisdom tooth painIf you are reading this you are probably suffering from wisdom tooth pain. I’d bet you are between the ages of 17 to 25, as that is when they usually try to erupt. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are a common source of pain as they try to come through the gum tissue. There is usually not enough room for them in the average mouth. The ultimate solution to solving the problem is their removal. This is usually done by an oral surgeon. What follows are some tips to help ease the pain until they can be


The cause of the pain

If you are in pain it is usually caused by inflammation of the gum tissue around the tooth. This can be caused by food getting caught around the tooth. The gum then swells and often bleeds easily. Sometimes the gum can swell so much that you can wind up biting on it which will cause additional swelling and pain.

What you can do

Pain from inflamed gum tissue can possibly be reduced by aggressively cleaning the area with a tooth brush. The goal of this is to remove the dental plaque and the bacteria it contains. Brushing with a toothpaste designed to improve gum health, such as Parodontax, can potentially help. A rinse you can use that might be helpful is to mix up 1/4 teaspoon of bleach in 8 ounces of water. This amount should be good for about one week. Mix it in a covered mason jar. Rinse with a small amount of this solution for 1 minute then rinse with tap water. Do not swallow this solution. The solution is designed to reduce bacteria which can be one source of the pain and inflammation.

When to see a dentist

If your pain continues more than a couple of days or if you have any swelling of your face you need to see a dentist. Pain in your neck on the side of the wisdom tooth can be swollen lymph nodes which also indicate the need to seek dental care. If you have an infection that the body is responding to it is beyond anything you can treat at home.

What your dentist will do

Your dentist will evaluate the area to see if you can keep your teeth or if they need to be extracted. At times the problem is localized to the flap of skin over the tooth. This tissue can often be removed if there is enough room for your wisdom teeth to come in. At times the dentist will clean out the area around the tooth to provide some temporary relief. They may prescribe antibiotics. Often it is best to remove the tooth as soon as possible.

Wisdom tooth pain can be avoided

I have seen so many patients have problems with their wisdom teeth that I routinely recommend removal of all four teeth when space for them is limited. This is often done before the roots have completed their development so the surgery is easier for both the surgeon and patient.

Please remember that pain and swelling is a signal that something is wrong. Always seek medical assistance when small problems continue to worsen. I recommend that even if you are able to eliminate your wisdom tooth pain yourself that you see a dentist to evaluate your teeth as soon as possible. You will never regret taking better care of that smile.

Keep Smiling LI…



Last of the Dental Myths

[Read more…]

How a Mouth Guard Can Improve Your Quality of Sleep

There are many causes of interrupted or disjointed sleep that can be traced back to your mouth. Fortunately, mouth guards aren’t just for professional athletes anymore, and many options exist that can be tailored to your particular needs.

Catching Z’s Without Sawing Wood

Most people who snore are unaware of it (although their partners may be reading this article instead, in that case!), but for some people, the act of snoring is jarring enough to wake them up from a restful slumber. A mouth guard will hold your mouth in a shape that encourages free air flow, preventing the wheezing and snorting that can accompany nocturnal inhalations and exhalations, while remaining comfortable enough to not disturb your sleep.

Sleep Apnea Terror

For many people with sleep apnea, the fear of spontaneously stopping their breathing in their sleep can lead to horrified insomnia. There are devices, however, that can help with that, and give you your night back. The MAD (mandibular advancement device) snaps over the dental arches and easily open and close, preventing obstructions and other preventions of their breathing.

Put Through the Grinder

Even if you think you are sleeping well, many adults grind their teeth in their sleep, and the pain of this can be enough to briefly interrupt your sleep schedule. (To say nothing of the pain that follows the next morning.) A mouth guard can help keep your teeth safely removed from each other, so that you harmlessly gnaw on rubber instead of eroding your own teeth further.

There are other preventable issues that might be interrupting your sleep, for which a mouth guard may be a convenient and affordable fix. Speak with one of our qualified professionals today and discuss what is keeping you up, so we help you reclaim a full night’s sleep.

If Not Now…When???

Today protests around the world are being held by students that are claiming their future. The world we are living in is changing and they are asking the people of the world to unite to preserve their future.

The debate over whether man has impacted this planet is over. The world is changing at an increasingly accelerated rate. Climate is changing throughout the globe with an increasing number of record-breaking events. Species are declining. There are reports of decreasing insect populations, most notably bees and butterfly’s. See for yourself by the number of insects drawn to your outside light or are on your car’s windshield. Coral reefs are being impacted with changes in their resident fish population. The list is long but you get the idea. In reality half of all plant and animal species are threatened by climate change. I believe that the bigger picture is that it is the human species that will most be affected by climate change and we will know in our hearts that we did this to ourselves. Yeah it hurts to know that the disease was self-inflicted. It will really be no wonder, as when we look around we find that many diseases are self-inflicted by the lifestyle we lead and the choices we make. Just look at increasing levels of obesity.

Change is inevitable

In the world we live in nothing stays the same. If you really want to see where your going, look back 10 years and then look at where you are now. Draw the line between the to points and extend that line 10 more years. Things better or worse? The things you put energy into get better. The things you neglect get worse. Ignore your teeth you lose them (I had to get something dental into this). Neglect your car it stops running (no gas). Neglect your spouse you split (or live a miserable existence). We need to take care of the things that are important to us (by putting positive energy in) for them to be there for us. Why is this planet any different?

The lack of respect for the planet

We haven’t been kind to this world over the last 200 years. We can look at the pollution of our environment, an example being mercury levels in fish. Or how about the increasing use of herbicides and pesticides. Do you really think that these poisons getting into our food supply can be a good thing? You might want to check out this report –Weed-Killing Chemical Linked to Cancer Found in some Children’s Breakfast Foods. 

Deforestation is another attack on this planet. We lose 50 thousand acres of forest each year. How can cutting down all those trees not have an effect on us? They clean the air and provide habit for wildlife. Then there is always the ever debatable increasing levels of CO2 in our air. Greener plants??? I don’t think so. Increased temperature??? I’d put money on that one. The list is long, but I think you get the idea. We haven’t been so kind to Mother Earth. If we keep doing what we have been doing, where are we headed? We need to put some positive energy into this planet now or future generations will look back at this time period and say “WTF were they thinking?” I truly believe that those in power who choose to ignore the problem are committing crimes against humanity. Only time will tell.

The power to choose

In the end we have the power to choose. We can choose to take better care of ourselves and our planet. Yes, it takes energy to choose, especially when the choice is different then what you have done before. It’s  always easier to keep doing what you have been doing. The first step is acknowledging the problem exists and then choosing to do something about it. We need to realize that it is worth the effort to save the planet as much as it’s worth the effort to lose weight. We can’t go wrong by taking better care of ourselves and our environment. When it comes to the environment anybody that disagrees with that is probably more concerned about money, because for them it always comes down to money. Kill the planet to make a buck.

So the real question is “If Not Now…When?”. If not now, I want you to look these kids in the eye and tell them they are not worth making the change now.