At Lifetime Dental, choices are yours to make!
A night guard or an occlusal guard is a thin, acrylic appliance that is custom fitted over your teeth.
All people clench or grind their teeth at night while sleeping. Some even clench or grind during the day while driving or doing other stressful tasks. This can cause teeth to wear down, chip, break, and be sensitive. If you clench or grind a lot your teeth can become downright painful!
A night guard can protect your teeth from all of these issues, and is very comfortable to wear. Some people even wear it during the day when they are conscious that they are clenching or grinding their teeth.
We will recommend a night guard when we see signs of clenching or grinding, or if a patient complains of some or all of the symptoms listed above. Choosing not to wear the recommended night guard, could lead to severe wear and breakdown of teeth.
Regular cleanings involve the removal of any buildup from your teeth and polishing to remove any stains from tobacco, tea, coffee and other dark substances.
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit a dentist twice a year for regular cleanings, x-rays and exams.
Visiting the dentist twice per year for regular cleanings and checkups can also help to avoid Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque on the surfaces of the teeth. Plaque irritates the gums and can cause gums to bleed, become red or sore, and can cause cavities.
Gingivitis is reversible. By properly brushing twice daily and flossing once per day, you can greatly reduce the risk of Gingivitis. Gingivitis, left untreated, will generally lead to Periodontal disease.
Sensitive teeth can be very bothersome and can result from a number of causes. One common cause can be the new whitening and tartar control toothpastes and mouthwashes on the market. These can open microscopic pores in the teeth and make the teeth sensitive.
Cracks in teeth can also cause sensitivity. Typically, cracks occur in a tooth when an old silver filling contracts and expands causing cracks in the remaining tooth structure. Occasionally a piece of the tooth will come loose or break off. Sometimes a crack progresses to the nerve of the tooth and requires nerve treatment. The best fix for a cracked tooth is a crown that covers the entire tooth to hold it together.
Other causes of sensitivity can be cavities, where the bacteria have eaten holes into the teeth. Clenching or grinding the teeth, sinus infections, and exposed roots will also cause sensitivity.
Often, sensitive teeth can be prevented with the use of a night guard, sensitive toothpaste or fixing a problem tooth. Regular exams and discussing any concerns with Dr. Blackley will help to avoid problems.
The worst toothache is usually from an infected tooth. When the inside of the tooth has gotten bacteria in it, the bacterium starts to grow and expand causing pain. Antibiotics can help shrink the expanding infection and give some relief in a day or two. The nerve chamber then needs to be cleaned and filled in to save the tooth. If the tooth is not fixed or removed, the infection will return and can affect other parts of the body.
Sometimes the nerve in the tooth can be inflamed or irritated causing the tooth to be sensitive to hot, cold, or chewing. It may just ache at times. The best fix is to remove the nerve and fill the nerve chamber to remove the pain and prevent further infection.
Gum disease can cause a dull nagging ache that may not be severe, but is a nuisance. Teeth can also hurt from decay when something is eaten and food gets stuck in the cavity. It is important to get any decay fixed as soon as possible to keep it from getting bigger.
This is probably the one dental treatment that gets the most stories told about it. In reality a great majority of these treatments, when completed, are no worse than having a filling done.
A root canal procedure is necessary when, for one reason or another, the nerve inside the tooth has died and the body cannot heal the nerve or infection inside the tooth chamber. In these situations, the root canals must be filled in order to eliminate the source of infection. Otherwise, the infection keeps seeping out of the tooth and reinfecting the bone around the tooth.
This condition can occur even though the tooth may have previously been filled or crowned. Sometimes trauma or heavy clenching or grinding can stress the nerve to where it cannot recover.
Root Planing & Scaling is an effective way to treat periodontal disease. Gum disease, or Periodontal disease, is the loss of bone around teeth due to infection. As the infection progresses, pockets can develop around the teeth. If the depth of a pocket becomes greater than 4 millimeters, root planing and deep scaling is required.
If root planings and deep scalings are not performed, the infection will continue to progress and the bone around the tooth will deteriorate causing tooth loss.
After root planings and deep scalings, the gums will begin to heal and tighten around the teeth again, making the pockets smaller.