Posts for: May, 2017
Find out how tooth loss can negatively impact your smile if left untreated.
Do you have gaps in your smile caused by tooth loss? If so, isn’t it time that you got the treatment you need to fill those gaps and improve the appearance and health of your smile? Most people think that losing a tooth is serious enough, but if you don’t seek treatment from our Batavia, IL, family dentist, John C. Koechley, D.D.S., then you may just end up facing these other issues in the near future:
A Change in Your Bite
This is usually more common with those dealing with several missing teeth, but you may also notice a shift in your bite after losing only one tooth. If you find that there are changes in how your jaws fit together, then your tooth loss has also affected your bite. This can put additional wear and tear on certain teeth, which can cause them to weaken or even fracture. By replacing your missing teeth you can protect other teeth from damage.
Since there is now an open spot where your tooth used to be, this is the ideal location for bacteria to thrive. This increases how much plaque builds up along the gum line, which can also continue to spread to nearby teeth and cause cavities. This is why even one missing tooth needs to replaced as soon as possible.
When you don’t have all your teeth you may find it more difficult to chew properly. Your gums may even become a bit more sensitive. You may only be able to chew on one side of your mouth or you may find that certain foods are a no-go. If you don’t thoroughly chew your food before swallowing, this can lead to indigestion and acid reflux. Plus, if you aren’t able to consume a lot of foods because they are too tough or difficult to chew, then you may also lack the vital nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
Tooth roots are what make the jawbone thrive and stay strong and healthy. Once a tooth has fallen out, the roots are no longer there to stimulate the jawbone. As a result, the jawbone starts to break down and lose density; fortunately, getting a dental crown in Batavia is the only way to replace tooth roots and provide the jawbone with the stimulation it needs to stay healthy.
If you are suffering from tooth loss then it’s time you sought treatment right now. The sooner you get the care you need from our Batavia, IL general dentist the better. Call us now and tell us you are interested in dental implants or other treatment options for replacing your missing teeth.
For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.
Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.
If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.
If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.
When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.
When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment.Â Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.
And as for Noah Galloway:Â In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!
If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”
For over a century dentists treated tooth decay by removing both diseased portions of the tooth and healthy structure deemed at risk for future decay. In the 1970s, though, a new approach emerged, known as Minimally Invasive Dentistry (MID). This practice protocol attempts to preserve as much of the healthy structure as possible.
Before MID, dentists followed a decay treatment protocol developed in the 19th Century. A part of this became known as extension for prevention calling for dentists to remove healthy structure considered vulnerable to decay. Besides reducing the tooth's volume, this practice also resulted in, by today's standards, larger than necessary fillings.
It was thought that removing this additional material would make it easier to clean bacterial plaque, the source of decay, but later, research showed the practice couldn't guarantee the teeth wouldn't be reinfected.
Since then we've learned a lot more about teeth and have developed new ways to detect decay at earlier stages. X-ray imaging, for example, has transitioned largely from film to digital technology, providing more detailed images at greater magnification. This, along with laser fluorescence and infrared cameras, has made it easier to detect the first tiny stages of decay.
We can also limit tooth decay damage by boosting enamel strength with fluoride applications and sealants or reducing decay-causing bacteria with anti-bacterial rinses. We've also seen advancement in techniques like air abrasion that remove decayed tooth material while leaving more healthy structure intact better than using a traditional dental drill.
Restoring teeth after treatment has also improved. While dental metal amalgam is still used for some fillings, the main choice is now composite resin. These new tooth-colored dental materials require less tooth preparation (and thus less material loss) and bond well to the remaining structure, resulting in a stronger tooth.
Following a MID protocol leads to less intervention and less time in the dentist's chair. It also means preserving more of a natural tooth, an important aim in promoting long-lasting dental health.