Beer is one of the world’s oldest and most loved beverages. On April 7, 1933, beer was made legal in the United States, a huge move by the American government to end the prohibition of alcoholic beverages. The date is now celebrated as “National Beer Day,” and it’s the perfect time to get together with friends and enjoy some of your favorite brews. However, before you plan your night on the town, you should consider the affects that drinking beer might have on your teeth. This is even more important if you drink beer regularly.
Beer and Cavities: Is Your Favorite Brew a Concern?
The idea that beer might hurt your teeth is probably news to you. Many people have a misconception that beer doesn’t contain sugar because it doesn’t taste sweet. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. While beer contains no added sugar, it does contain 13 grams of carbohydrates in a serving. When carbohydrates mix with the natural bacteria found in your mouth, plaque begins to form. This plaque is what eventually leads to gum disease and tooth decay.
Enamel Damage: is Acidic Beer Damaging to Your Teeth?
Beer and other acidic beverages, such as lemonade, can damage to the structure of your teeth. Acids eat away at your tooth enamel, and once it’s gone, it doesn’t usually come back. Worn-down enamel leads to extreme sensitivity, tooth discoloration and other serious problems. It’s not an issue that you want to take lightly.
Tips for National Beer Day: Avoid Cavities and Maintain Oral Health
1. Stay Light
Have you ever heard people complain that certain beers are “like water”? They might be less pleasing to connoisseurs, but beers that are lighter in color and thinner in consistency are typically less acidic. A sour taste generally indicates acidity, so when sampling drinks on National Beer Day, avoid a second drink of anything that tastes sour. Malt beers in darker colors are also very hard on your teeth.
Beer is liquid, but it’s much less hydrating than water. If you want to protect your teeth, avoid getting too drunk and reduce the odds of having a hangover the next day, drink plenty of water in between beers. It’s also a good idea to swish the water around your mouth to clean your teeth.
3. Chew Sugarless Gum
Pop a stick of sugarless gum in your mouth and chew while walking from one bar to another. This activates your saliva glands and helps to cleanse the excess bacteria from your teeth and gums.
The best way to avoid cavities and maintain great oral health is by visiting the dentist regularly. Along with removing plaque and tartar from your teeth, the dentist can also keep an eye on your teeth and let you know of any early signs of tooth decay.
For more information about oral health and how it can affect your dental insurance, please contact us today.
What happens when you cross a dentist with a veterinarian? Somebody who improves the oral health of creatures such as the following, which, like humans, have some of the most amazing teeth in the animal kingdom. Of course, many are quite dangerous, usually for that exact reason, so dangerous that humans stay as far away from them as possible. Meanwhile, others simply utilize them in interesting ways, but ones that are safe for humans. However, all of us need to engage in oral health one way or the other, and we as humans are fortunate to have much easier access to dental care through things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and professional care than is the case for most creatures.
These fish are famous for the pure strength of their razor-sharp ones as well as how triangular they are, which helps them grab a hold of their food. However, although some of them are quite vicious, others are actually vegetarians or near-vegetarians. Interestingly, when they are being threatened, they will often gnash them together to create a menacing sound intended to scare away their foe. Of course, that assumes that eating them is not under consideration. Piranhas regularly lose their teeth and replace them one quarter of their mouth at a time.
This is one fish that no veterinarian, dentist or other human will likely come across in its natural habitat as dragonfish are deep-sea fish to the extreme, living so far down that it has barely developed any sense of sight as doing so would be nearly useless with how dark it is there. However, these fish, when taken out of that dark abyss, are quite frightening in appearance. Not only do their teeth appear extremely dangerous, but a few of the sharper ones are even on the dragonfish’s tongue. Seeing dental care of a tongue would be quite interesting.
The health of their fangs are absolutely essential to venomous snakes as that is where their venom is injected, which allows them to protect themselves as well as secure food. One thing that helps some of these snakes is that their fangs will retract when not in use, limiting their interaction with the outside world. A few have fangs with grooves in them, which allow the venom to easily flow into the newly created wound. Some also have smaller ones on the bottom to help them clutch their prey. For these reasons, it is easy to see how damaging a lack of oral health can be for these snakes, life threatening, in fact.
Some of the more famous incisors found in the wild are the white shark’s, and these great fish have an incredible number of them at any one time. Although about 50 are exposed and ready to be used at any one moment, several are waiting in the wings for their turn on the playing field. In fact, roughly five rows of developing ones are usually right behind them, ready to be moved in at a moment’s notice, which is good as they regularly lose them. Incredibly, a white shark probably goes through tens of thousands of them in a lifetime. For that reason, focusing on dental care is not nearly a concern for white sharks as it is for humans who only have two sets, one as children and one as adults.
It may be surprising to discover that some of the world’s most
powerful sets are microscopic and belong to a snail. However, it’s true; limpets, who live in shells that resemble umbrellas, utilize ones that have evolved over generations upon generations to withstand scraping over rock and similar surfaces on a regular basis. Although the strength of them are not essential for eating purposes, having them at all are very necessary for these creatures or they would starve, so they have gradually created ones that would not break off due to their constant contact with rough types of surfaces.
Pound for pound they have the strongest bite of any mammal. The bone crunching teeth of the Hyena allows almost every part of their prey to be consumable. Aside from the Lion, the Spotted Hyena is the largest carnivore in Africa, weighing up to 180 pounds. Along with their powerful canines, they are known to be highly intelligent creatures that have retained an unfavorable reputation, but deserve a great deal of respect in the animal kingdom.
Has your presidential vote ever been affected by a candidate’s smile? Often, we judge leaders by their appearance, especially their teeth. We tend to base our assumptions of intelligence, personality, success, and health on their dentition.
In honor of Presidents Day, we review the dental records of presidents who had poor oral health. Many of them were subject to crude instruments and dental procedures. Then, we fast forward to recent years, featuring leaders with healthy teeth. Thank heaven for quality dental care and insurance!
Presidents With Problem Teeth
The general’s dental problems began in his 20s. He was regularly plagued by toothaches, cavities, and tooth loss, his first extraction done at age 24. A 1776 portrait shows a cheek scar, acquired after the excision of an abscessed tooth.
Throughout adulthood, he suffered oral pain, despite using various dental medicines and tooth cleaners. At the time of his 1789 inauguration, he had only one natural tooth remaining.
Ultimately, the President was fitted with dentures, going through many sets, one made by Paul Revere. However, they didn’t fit properly, especially evident in photographs. Whenever he smiled, the spring-fit teeth snapped and creaked. Self-consciousness also made him reluctant to speak publicly.
President Lincoln visited a dentist only four times during his lifetime. In 1841, a terrible toothache brought him to the dentist for an extraction. However, he didn’t receive anesthesia, and part of his jawbone broke off in the process, leaving considerable residual pain.
Fifteen years later, he developed another toothache, this tooth removed by a turnkey. In 1856, this was the standard instrument used for extractions. The device was a sharp hook at the end of a metal rod, attached to a wooden handle. The dentist fitted the hook around a tooth, twisting it to remove it. Six years later, when the President needed another extraction, he arrived at the dentist well-prepared. He brought his own anesthesia, a vial of chloroform!
In 1893, President Cleveland was diagnosed with oral cancer. Six doctors were involved in the 90-minute surgery to excise his tumor, five teeth, and a portion of his jaw. The only anesthesia he received was ether and nitrous oxide gas. Can you imagine the pain? A rubber prosthesis restored his normal speech.
Presidents With Winning Smiles
John F. Kennedy
President Kennedy had both a dazzling smile and remarkably strong teeth. When he served as a Navy Lieutenant during World War II, a Japanese destroyer blasted his ship. While helping his men swim to safety, he towed one injured crewman through the ocean, holding his life jacket strap in his teeth!
In 2015, Kelton Global conducted a survey of 1,000 US adults, asking them to rate the smiles of past presidents. Roughly half the participants ranked John F. Kennedy as the Democratic president with the best smile.
In the same survey, the majority of respondents viewed Ronald Reagan as the #1 president with the most attractive smile. However, he did suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). Fortunately, a cortisone injection resolved his left-sided jaw pain.
President Trump’s brilliant white teeth are the result of porcelain veneers and frequent teeth whitening. A veneer is a wafer-thin shell of porcelain, bonded to teeth to improve their appearance. It can change the shape, length, size, and color of teeth while adding strength. With regular professional care, porcelain veneers can last up to 25 years.
In-office teeth whitening is a procedure using professional bleaching agents. It’s typically done in one visit. The dentist places a protective gel or rubber shield on gums, followed by bleach. A laser enhances the action of the whitening agent.
Tooth-Saving Dental Insurance
Aren’t we fortunate in this modern age to have advanced dental technology? Gone are the days of turnkey extractions and dangerous anesthesia. We also have dental insurance to cover the care we need.
With the help of DentalInsurance.com, you can find the ideal plan. Using our free service, you can compare plan types, learn about dental procedures, obtain quotes, and choose the plan that’s right for you. Learn details about our expertise here.
Our licensed insurance agents are equipped to help you with every step. Call us at 800-296-3800, Monday-Friday, 6am-6pm Pacific Time. Just like a US president, you deserve the highest quality dental care. DentalInsurance.com ensures that you receive it!
National Toothache Day is Something to Smile About
Following a solid oral hygiene routine and taking preventative measures will keep your mouth looking and feeling its best. It will help you avoid the need for uncomfortable and time consuming trips to the dentist as well. On February 9, 2017, the world will be celebrating “National Toothache Day.” Instead of concentrating on pain, it is a great time to discuss common tooth problems and to learn how to properly care for your oral health.
History of National Toothache Day
There are many myths related to this “holiday.” Many suspect that it was created by a dentist in response to the opening of the Hershey Chocolate Company. Since chocolate is filled with sugar that can lead to cavities, this time was meant to help patients remember the importance of good oral health. A great way to celebrate is to make an appointment with your dentist so that you can receive a checkup or tips that will keep your mouth healthy. During this time, you can pay extra attention to brushing and flossing and avoiding sugary foods that often lead to cavities.
Causes of Toothaches
There are many reasons behind toothaches.
- Abscess. An abscess is a painful infection that occurs at the root of a tooth or in the gums that surround it. Trauma, severe decay, or gum disease can lead to an abscess.
- Decay. Cavities cause damage to tooth enamel and the internal dentin layer. They occur when the mouth’s bacteria is turned into acid, which attacks and causes decay.
- Damaged Filling
- Gum Infections
- Fractured Teeth
- Repetitive Action. If you grind your teeth or chew too roughly, you may cause damage to your teeth that leads to pain.
How Toothaches Work
Since the face and mouth are filled with nerves, the pain from toothaches can be severe. Unlike other body parts, teeth are confined, and blood is restricted in the area. When an infection begins, pressure builds. As this pressure becomes too great, the problem starts to affect the nerves and results in noticeable discomfort. As pain becomes overwhelming, it is necessary to visit a dental care provider for relief.
How to Prevent Toothaches
It is possible to take some preventative measures so that toothaches do not develop.
- Good Oral Hygiene. The best way to prevent decay that leads to pain is by following a regular oral hygiene routine. For example, it is important to brush and floss daily. This removes food particles that become stuck on and in between teeth. Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash is important as well.
- Avoiding Sugary Food. To avoid problems that cause toothaches, it is best to limit the amount of sugary foods that you eat. Even when you do consume these items, it is wise to brush your teeth immediately.
- Visit Your Dental Provider Regularly. When you schedule a yearly visit with your dental provider, you will receive a professional cleaning. Also, this professional will perform a routine exam so that small problems are detected before they become large and painful.
This occasion is the perfect time to pay attention to your oral health. It does not require a person to be in pain, but it will help to educate individuals who want to learn how to better care for their mouths. No matter how you celebrate, remember to smile big and to appreciate your teeth.
If you suffer from gingivitis, tooth decay, or simply want to prevent dental problems from occurring later, you might be looking for new ways to improve your oral health. The American Dental Association recommends using floss to remove plaque from between your teeth at least once a day, but many people dislike the hassle of flossing. You might
be wondering if water flossers, also known as water picks, are as great as their manufacturers claim.
Good Oral Hygiene: What are the Most Helpful Tools?
Floss and water picks both have the goal of removing the plaque, tartar and food particles that irritate the gums and lead to tooth decay. The pick uses water pressure to flush debris from between the teeth. Traditional floss is dragged along the surface of the tooth to scrape debris away. While traditional floss can be purchased for a few dollars, a water pick can cost between $30 and $70. That said, most models are quality made and should last quite a while before you’ll need a replacement.
Water Picks versus Traditional Floss: Which is Better?
Both tools can be helpful for cleaning, but the water pick may not have the power to remove firmly attached plaque. For this reason, it’s not recommended as a replacement for floss but rather as a complementary tool. If you’ve struggling to find the drive to floss, using a water pick is certainly better than nothing. However, your best bet is using both.
Technique Matters: How Do You Properly Floss?
You might be looking for a water pick because you believe flossing isn’t working for you, but since the pick isn’t a replacement for traditional floss, you should consider improving your technique. People who feel that floss is pointless are often not doing it properly. It takes more than simply slipping the floss between each tooth and then calling it a day.
Floss works by scraping the plaque from the surface of the teeth, which means that you must pay careful attention to what you’re doing. Focus on getting close as you can to the root on both sides of the tooth. It’s safe to gently pull the floss beneath the gums, but you should be sure to keep the pressure on the surface of the tooth versus the gum tissue.
Practice Makes Perfect: How Do You Use the Water Pick?
Dentists recommend using the water pick at least once a day. Your best bet is to start with the floss, scrape and loosen as much plaque as possible, and then blast it all away with the water pick. Using the pick should be self-explanatory. The only thing you really need to remember is to be careful to avoid aiming the stream of water straight down toward the root of the tooth. Instead, keep it close to a 90-degree angle. Aiming toward the root could result in shooting a stream of water straight into the gums, separating them from the teeth and causing pain or injury.
For more information about hygiene practices and oral health, please contact us today.
Boxing and mixed martial arts are fun sports that provide a lot of enjoyment to the participants and spectators. But if you
engage in one of these sports, it’s vital you take the proper steps to protect yourself from unneeded risks if you don’t want to endanger your health. One of the best ways to safeguard yourself when you are playing a contact sport is to wear a mouth guard. Doing so protects your oral health and prevents heavy blows from cracking, chipping or otherwise damaging your teeth. Although it’s mandatory in many professional sports, some amateur fighters overlook the importance of protecting themselves. If you are still not convinced, then the following information should point you in the right direction.
No matter how skilled you are, you can never ensure that you won’t receive a direct blow to the face. When you get hit at the wrong angle, the force from the impact gets transferred directly to a single tooth. If that happens, it won’t take much for permanent damage to occur. In some cases, the damaged area might be so small that you don’t even notice, but your teeth could also get knocked out of place. When safeguarding yourself is as easy as using the right equipment, the correct choice becomes clear.
How Mouth Guards Help
When it comes to the health of boxers and those who enjoy mixed martial arts, people often wonder how mouth guards can prevent a tooth from being chipped or cracked. With it in place, it will displace the force of a blow, significantly reducing the odds of an injury. Rather than being concentrated in one spot, the energy will be spread out in a way that lessens the damage. So if maintaining your oral health is at the front of your mind, get a mouth guard before your next competition.
Types of Mouth Guards
If you want to enjoy the best possible results, you might be asking yourself about the types of mouth guards that are available and which one you should choose. To work effectively, it will need to fit in your mouth perfectly so that it can absorb the impact and reduce the damage. For that reason, mouth guards that will mold to the shape of your mouth and teeth will provide you with outstanding protection on which you can depend, enabling you to put your fears to rest.
Although a mouth guard protects your oral health, the danger will always be present. If you experience a chipped or damaged tooth, getting the proper medical attention will be costly. When you don’t want to take any chances, getting a good dental insurance plan is a great way to achieve peace of mind. Dental insurance protects you from the expensive bills that you will face, allowing you to get the treatment that you need. Because of the increased danger of boxing, martial arts and other contact sports, having an effective dental plan is critical.
Turkeys are certainly attractive birds, but they don’t have teeth. In fact, virtually all birds lack pearly whites. That tidbit begs the question: How do turkeys eat?
When it’s mealtime, a turkey’s beak scoops up some delicious blades of grass, berries, grains, seeds, or other pieces of food. Next, its salivary glands get to work, moistening and breaking down that grub. The turkey’s tongue then forces the food backwards, and it drops into the crop, which is like a little storage container within the esophagus.
Eventually, the food makes its way into the stomach; the acids there tear it apart even more. In addition, a turkey’s stomach contains a section with thick walls called the gizzard. Turkeys often swallow little stones, and they go right into the gizzard. That way, when morsels pass through, they rub against the stones and get ripped into even tinier shreds.
At last, the food goes into the intestines, and the turkey’s body takes out the nutrients that it needs for survival and nourishment. The remainder, of course, gets excreted.
No Turkeys at the Original Holiday Dinner?
With all of this turkey talk, you might start to wonder something else: Why do people eat these feathered creatures on the fourth Thursday of every November?
Many folks assume that the Pilgrims and Native Americans ate turkeys at the original Thanksgiving dinner way back in 1621, and that’s the reason we do so now. However, it’s possible that they ate geese, ducks, or even swans at that historic event instead.
During the 1850s, the journals of William Bradford, a Pilgrim who served for decades as the governor of his colony, were discovered. Before that time, those documents had been missing for about 100 years. They quickly became popular reading across the country. In those texts, Bradford discusses the turkeys that the Pilgrims would hunt. Thus, Pilgrims and turkeys became permanently linked in the public’s imagination.
A Bird Becomes a Tradition
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a federal holiday, and turkeys became the perfect choice for that day’s main course. After all, they’re relatively big, and they’re full of tasty meat.
At that time, this kind of poultry wasn’t consumed all that often. Therefore, it seemed like a true holiday indulgence. This meat was affordable as well. Unlike cows that provided milk, roosters that woke people up, and hens that laid eggs, turkeys didn’t serve humans any useful purpose unless they were served on a plate.
Giving Thanks for Healthy Mouths
Today, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t merely delicious. It can also provide your gums and teeth with vital nutrients. Turkey is full of protein. Yams are bursting with vitamin C, which fortifies gums; just try to avoid candied yams. Mashed potatoes will supply you with potassium and vitamin B6, both of which promote oral health. For their part, pumpkins are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, which can help heal ailing gums, and magnesium, which strengthens enamel.
Let’s not forget the appetizers. Cheese has calcium, which also makes enamel harder. On top of that, nuts, carrots, and other crunchy snacks stimulate the release of saliva, clearing the mouth of harmful microbes. Thus, although turkeys don’t have teeth, Turkey Day can be very helpful to yours.
You’ve probably already heard that you should go to the dentist regularly to maintain good oral health. A reliable rule of thumb is to go twice per year. However, you may not have been told about the full benefits of regular cleanings and checkups. To help you understand the importance of taking the time to schedule an appointment, here are some of the biggest reasons why doing so is a good idea.
Improving Your Confidence
Have you ever had bad breath? Of course you have! Everyone gets it. But if you don’t see your dental health professional and get your mouth cleaned occasionally, it could get much worse. Dentists can also help you keep your teeth bright and white. Many everyday products we consume, such as coffee or tea, can leave stains on them. At the dentist’s office you can get them whitened and polished, eliminating those unsightly stains and giving you a more attractive and confident-looking smile.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults, and most adults will face gum disease at some point in their lives. One of your biggest oral health goals, therefore, should be taking efforts to prevent and minimize this problem. Regular checkups will help you do that. Your
dentist has special tools that check to see if your gums are still healthy. If there’s a problem, he or she will tell you how best to fix it before it costs you your smile.
Over time, tiny food particles in your mouth are converted to
plaque, an acidic substance that clings to and slowly eats away
your teeth. Regular flossing and brushing can help slow this process, but they can’t prevent it entirely. Over time, these cavities get worse and worse until they begin to cause you tremendous pain. A tooth isn’t like skin; it won’t regenerate when it gets damaged, so if you let the cavity get bad enough, you’ll lose it. Fortunately, oral health professionals always check for cavities in their earliest stages. They use x-rays and other medical equipment to find them before they start to hurt you or cause irreplaceable damage. When cavities are in their early stages, repairing them is no problem. You’ll also get a good cleaning at every checkup, which prevents the buildup of plaque and lowers the likelihood that you’ll get cavities in the future.
Preventing Oral Cancer and Other Life-Threatening Conditions
Oral cancer is a deadly serious problem. Experts estimate that nearly 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with it every year, and nearly 10,000 will die from it. Almost half of those diagnosed with oral cancer will die within five years of their diagnosis. The Oral Cancer Foundation notes that this high mortality rate is mainly caused by the fact that oral cancer is usually detected at a very late stage. It can be hard to detect early because the symptoms are relatively mild at first. Fortunately, dentists know how to recognize the signs of cancer early and will be able to detect it during a routine check-up. But that’s not all. Getting your mouth checked by a doctor has other major health benefits. Dental check-ups have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes, as well. Seeing your oral health-care professional regularly, therefore, could do more than save your teeth. It could also save your life.
If you are like many people, a visit to the dentist is one of the most painful and stressful appointments that you endure, and you have to go twice a year. Whether it is being nervous about the possibility of a cavity or having fear of the drill, too many people skip their important dental visits out of anxiety. However, ignoring
these appointments can damage more than just your oral health; poor dental care can lead to infections, strokes and heart disease. You can avoid a painful dental visit and smile more with just a few careful methods.
1. Find a dental team you can trust.
Trusting your dental team will go a long way toward easing your fears and your pain. Because anxieties are related to all different fears, you need to find a professional who is able to read your cues, answer your questions and assuage your concerns. If you do not trust the hands that are in your mouth, you will not be able to get through the appointment painlessly.
2. Prepare a list of questions to ease your concerns.
If you have truly found a professional that you trust, take some time to prepare a list of questions that will help you feel more at ease. Think deeply about your fears and concerns about your visit, and ask for clarification on any procedures. A few common questions that might lessen your anxiety include:
• Can you please explain to me what you are doing with my teeth?
• What does that (tool) do?
• How could I improve my oral hygiene?
• Why is it necessary to do ____ (procedure)?
• What are my options for that tooth?
• If I get nervous, what signal can I give you to stop?
3. Consider some meditation before your appointment.
Although meditation, essential oils and deep breathing are not for everyone, these can be helpful calming techniques for many people before a dental visit. Try dabbing a little chamomile or lavender essential oil on your temples or at your pulse points for relaxation, or use a heated neck wrap or squeezable stress ball before and during your appointment. While you are in the office chair, take care to breath slowly and deeply through your diaphragm to help counteract the adrenaline that may be coursing through your body. Clear your mind and think happy thoughts; try to smile throughout the procedure to keep your spirits up.
4. Keep your regular appointments.
Going to the dentist regularly will prevent many problems with your teeth. For example, you will have fewer cavities and be less likely to require complex dental work, such as a root canal. If you do not keep your appointments, you are more at risk for larger problems and more extensive procedures that will be more nerve-wracking. Not only will frequently cancelling or rescheduling appointments result in poor oral health, but it will also add to your anxiety. The longer you put off your visit, the more worked up you will become about it when you finally keep your appointment. Schedule the visit, put it on your calendar and make it a point to attend on time.
5. Practice good oral health every day.
Many people are tempted to attack their teeth with extra vigor right before an appointment. However, aggressively brushing a tooth that seems discolored or flossing until your gums bleed is not a good idea. While you may be worried that your hygienist or the dentist will judge the state of your mouth poorly at your visit, last minute attacks on a tooth will be obvious to the oral professionals, and you will be doing more harm than good. Make sure that you are brushing at least twice a day, flossing and using a mouthwash rinse to keep your mouth happy and your smile beautiful.
A dental visit does not have to be painful. With the proper care and preparation, you can have a calm and comfortable appointment.
A Reason to Smile: Sensitive Teeth are Often Easy to Treat
If you’re experiencing recurring or sudden sharp pain when drinking hot beverages or eating frozen treats, or while brushing and flossing, then sensitive teeth may be to blame. Tooth pain can occur for many different reasons, and some are easier to pinpoint than others. You may be brushing your teeth too vigorously, thus damaging the enamel, or you could have a more serious oral health issue, such as gum disease. Your dental hygienist can diagnose the reason for tooth sensitivity and help treat the root cause, but identification and prevention also begin at home.
Symptoms and Causes of Sensitive Teeth
The symptoms of tooth sensitivity can manifest in different ways depending on the individual. Generally, pain in the teeth and gums, especially while eating and after dental treatment, including routine cleaning, is the prime indicator of tooth and gum sensitivity. Causes of oral pain also vary widely but include the following:
• A cracked or chipped tooth
• Tooth decay
• Worn tooth enamel
• Periodontal disease
• Receding gums
• Exposed tooth roots
Correctly identifying the cause of tooth pain is essential to proper treatment and improved oral health.
At-Home Treatment of Sensitive Teeth
Proper oral hygiene is the key to both a great smile and a healthy mouth, and you may be surprised to find that you haven’t been caring for your teeth properly, leading to sensitivity. Make sure to continue your twice-daily brushing routine, but reduce pressure when you brush and consider using a brush with soft bristles. You should also avoid brushing directly after eating foods with high acidity, like tomatoes and citrus fruit, because acidic foods weaken tooth enamel.
Desensitizing toothpaste is often the first line of defense when you’re dealing with tooth sensitivity. Available over the counter, many people find relief after using this type of toothpaste as part of their oral hygiene regimen. While brands vary, active ingredients in desensitizing paste typically include nerve-blocking agents, such as strontium chloride and/or potassium nitrate. Some patients report better results when the active ingredient is stannous fluoride, but desensitizing toothpaste containing it is available only by prescription.
In-Office Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity
If you can’t find relief from tooth pain by utilizing at-home methods, then a visit to your dentist may be in order. Your dental hygienist may use a fluoride gel treatment to help reduce sensitivity and improve your smile. Dependence on the reason for your tooth pain and its severity, your dentist might recommend a more invasive treatment option. Many in-office treatments, including those that combat sensitivity, are covered by your dental insurance. These treatments may include:
• Fillings or crowns
• A root canal
• Inlay or bonding
After treating your tooth sensitivity issue, your dentist will likely schedule a follow-up visit within a month to make sure the treatment is working and to check for additional issues that may be negatively impacting your smile. Make sure to follow instructions from your hygienist regarding proper oral health care after treatment to avoid a recurrence of tooth pain.