Sunday, October 6, 2019

Root Canals: FAQs About Treatment That Can Save Your Tooth

If you have a severely damaged, decaying tooth or a serious tooth infection (abscess), your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. Root canals are used to repair and save your tooth instead of removing it. 

What’s Involved in Root Canal Repair?

The pulp is soft tissue inside your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and provides nourishment for your tooth. It can become infected if you have: 
  • A deep cavity
  • Repeated dental procedures that disturb this tissue
  • A cracked or fractured tooth
  • Injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)
If untreated, the tissues around the root of your tooth can become infected. When this happens, you will often feel pain and swelling and an abscess may form inside the tooth and/or in the bone around the end of the root of the tooth. An infection can also put you at risk of losing your tooth completely because bacteria can damage the bone that keeps your tooth connected to your jaw.

Can I Get This Treatment Done During My Regular Check-up Visit?

Your dentist will need to schedule a follow up appointment, or you may be referred to a dentist who specializes in the pulp and tissues surrounding the teeth. This specialist is known as an endodontist.

What Should I Expect?

A root canal treatment usually takes 1 or 2 office visits to complete. There is little to no pain because your dentist will use local anesthesia so you don’t feel the procedure. Once the procedure is complete, you should no longer feel the pain you felt before having it done. 
Before treatment begins, your dentist will:
  • Take X-rays to get a clear view of your tooth and the surrounding bone. 
  • Numb the area around and including your tooth so you are comfortable during the treatment. 
  • Put a thin sheet of latex rubber over your tooth to keep it dry, clean and protected from viruses, bacteria and fungus that are normally in the mouth.
During treatment, your dentist will:
  • Create an opening in the top of your tooth.
  • Remove the tooth’s nerve from inside the tooth and in the areas in the root, known the root canal. 
  • Clean inside the tooth and each root canal. Your dentist may treat the tooth with germ-killing medicine.
  • Fill the root canals with a rubber-like material to seal them against future infection.
  • Place a temporary filling on the tooth to protect it until a definitive restoration like a permanent filling or crown can be placed at the earliest opportunity.
After root canal treatment:
  • Your tooth and the area around it may feel sensitive for a few days. You can talk with your dentist about how to relieve any discomfort you may have.
  • Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics if the infection spread. Use as directed, and follow up with your dentist if you have any problems taking it.
You will need a follow-up visit after the root canal treatment. At this visit, your dentist will remove the temporary filling on the tooth and replace it with a regular filling or a crown to protect your tooth from further damage. A metal or plastic post may also be placed in the root canal to help make sure the filling materials remain in place. This helps support a crown if you need one.

How Long Will a Root Canal Filling Last?

With proper care, your restored tooth can last a lifetime. Make it a point to brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, clean between your teeth once a day and see your dentist regularly to make sure your teeth are strong and healthy.
To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org
Bensonhurst Smiles  
Chung Hin Lau, DDS  
6306 18 Ave, 2nd Floor  
Brooklyn, NY 11204  
(718) 232-4044  
BensonhurstSmiles.com

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Warning Signs & Factors of a Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem: 

  • gums that bleed easily
  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • any change in the fit of partial dentures

Some factors increase the risk of developing gum disease. They are:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetics
  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean 
  • pregnancy 
  • diabetes 
  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
See your dentist if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing. 
Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States. It can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.
Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone and may occur in some areas of the mouth, or in the entire mouth.
Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke.
It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Remember: You don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. Brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org
Bensonhurst Smiles  
6306 18 Ave, 2nd Floor  
Brooklyn, NY 11204  
(718) 232-4044  
BensonhurstSmiles.com

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Gum Pain Causes, Relief and Treatments


What Causes Painful Gums?

If you experience painful gums when you eat, drink, brush, or floss, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can treat it. Painful or bleeding gums can be caused by improper brushing or flossing techniques, gum disease, chemotherapy, tobacco use, or certain hormonal changes. It is very common for gum disease to lead to pain and bleeding, so resolving the problem is an important part of keeping your gums healthy. Your gums provide the overall support for your teeth and the basis of a healthy mouth, and if not properly cared for, early gum disease can progress to other serious oral health problems.
Below are several different causes of gum pain. Being familiar with these causes of gum pain can help you talk to your dental or medical professional when they’re diagnosing the cause of your discomfort.
  • Canker Sores: These are painful ulcers found in your mouth that can cause serious gum pain. Canker sores can be caused by stress or injury to the tissue in your mouth, or an underlying health condition such as an impaired immune system, nutritional deficiencies, or gastrointestinal disease.
  • Cuts or Abrasions: Gum pain can often be caused by a simple cut or abrasion. Braces or other dental hardware such as dentures or retainers can irritate the tissue and cause gum pain.
  • Gum Disease or Infection: Gum pain associated with sensitive or bleeding gums is often caused by gum disease or gum infection. The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, affects approximately one in two American adults and can cause chronic gum pain and sensitivity. If not treated properly by removing plaque from the teeth and around the gum line, gingivitis can progress to more serious gum infection.
  • Sinus Infection: A sinus infection, otherwise known as sinusitis, occurs when the tissue lining of your sinuses is swollen or inflamed, and can lead to sinus gum pain. Sinuses are normally filled with air, but when they become filled with fluid, germs can grow and lead to infection. Approximately 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year, so sinus gum pain and dental pain are very common. 
If you notice any of these symptoms along with gum pain, you may want to consult with a medical professional to confirm the diagnosis and get treatment recommendations. Regardless of where your gum pain is located or its cause, chances are you’ll want to address it quickly.

Gum Pain Relief and Treatments

Gum pain can manifest in different ways. Some people experience gum pain in a single area of the gums, while others suffer from gum pain throughout their mouths. If you don’t take good care of your gums, they can deteriorate, become inflamed, infected, cut or even suffer from disease.
While there are many causes for tooth and gum pain, the treatment for most causes is pretty standard. Implementing an effective oral hygiene routine will most often help improve the health of your gums. 
 A few gum pain remedies include: 
Other ways to reduce gum pain may include avoiding the use of tobacco, improving your nutrition, or reducing stress in your life. These important steps combined with an effective oral hygiene regimen can help bring your gums back to good health.
To read the entire article visit crest.com

Bensonhurst Smiles  
Chung Hin Lau, DDS  
6306 18 Ave, 2nd Floor  
Brooklyn, NY 11204  
(718) 232-4044  
BensonhurstSmiles.com

Friday, September 6, 2019

Dental Grills — The New Trend Affecting Dentistry And The Health Of Your Teeth

It’s the latest trend in dental wear, but there’s nothing cool about the damage it could do to your smile. Dental Grills are a cosmetic, metal and sometimes jeweled tooth covering developed in the early 1980s by hip hop artists. Grills, also called fronts, are removable and fit over the front teeth. Dental grills are made of gold, silver or jewel encrusted metals that run as little as $20 and well into the thousands for more elaborate designs.
Can Wearing a Dental Grill create Oral Health Problems? 
Yes, they can. It’s important to conduct thorough oral hygiene procedures including flossing and brushing with an anti-microbial toothpaste as food and plaque can easily develop on the grill and can cause irritation to the gingival margin and gingivitis may develop and the possibility of tooth decay. Dental grills can also cause abrasion to adjoining teeth, gum recession, tooth discoloration or chipped teeth. A grill should always be removed before eating or rinsing to clean the mouth, and may cause an allergic reaction to the metal.
School districts in Alabama, Georgia, and Texas have banned grills from their use due to disciplinary and health related reasons1. It is important to consult with a dentist regarding the steps for dental grill placement and the implications on your oral health.
Who Makes the Dental Grill? 
A dentist should make a dental grill by taking a proper impression of the teeth versus a jeweler or a grill vendor. A non-licensed dental professional could cause worse dental and oral health problems.
To read the entire article visit colgate.com
Bensonhurst Smiles  
6306 18 Ave, 2nd Floor  
Brooklyn, NY 11204  
(718) 232-4044  
BensonhurstSmiles.com

Monday, August 26, 2019

6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth (And How to Break Them): Chewing Ice Cubes

The habit: “Tooth enamel is a crystal. Ice is a crystal. When you push two crystals against each other, one will break,” Dr. Messina says. “Most of the time it’s the ice, but sometimes the tooth or a filling will break.”

The solution: Drink chilled beverages without ice, or use a straw so you're not tempted. “The risk of chewing ice is greater than any pleasure that comes from chewing it,” he says. “Besides, ice is really cold!”

To read the entire article please visit MouthHealthy.org

Bensonhurst Smiles  
Chung Hin Lau, DDS  
6306 18 Ave, 2nd Floor  
Brooklyn, NY 11204  
(718) 232-4044  
BensonhurstSmiles.com

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Aging and Dental Health

As you age, it becomes even more important to take good care of your teeth and dental health. One common misconception is that losing your teeth is inevitable. This is not true. If cared for properly, your teeth can last a lifetime.
Your mouth changes as you age. The nerves in your teeth can become smaller, making your teeth less sensitive to cavities or other problems. If you don’t get regular dental exams, this in turn can lead to these problems not being diagnosed until it is too late. 
If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes.

Tips for Maintaining and Improving Your Oral Health

  • Brush twice a day with a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
  • Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another flossing tool.
  • If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis. Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day. It’s best to remove them at night. 
  • Drink tap water. Since most contains fluoride, it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are.
  • Quit smoking. Besides putting you at greater risk for lung and other cancers, smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss.
  • Visit your dentist. Visit your dentist regularly for a complete dental check-up. 

By adopting healthy oral habits at home, making smart choices about diet and lifestyle, and seeking regular dental care, you can help your teeth last a lifetime—whether you have your natural teeth, implants or wear dentures. 

Caregiving for a Disabled or Elderly Loved One  

You may have a parent, spouse or friend who has difficulty maintaining a healthy mouth on their own. How can you help? Two things are critical:
  • Help them keep their mouth clean with reminders to brush and floss daily. 
  • Make sure they get to a dentist regularly. 

These steps can prevent many problems, but tasks that once seemed so simple can become very challenging. If your loved one is having difficulty with brushing and flossing, talk to a dentist or hygienist who can provide helpful tips or a different approach. There are dentists who specialize in caring for the elderly and disabled. You can locate a specialist through the Special Care Dentistry Association’s referral directory. For those who wear dentures, pay close attention to their eating habits. If they’re having difficulty eating or are not eating as much as usual, denture problems could be the cause.
When you’re caring for someone who is confined to bed, they may have so many health problems that it’s easy to forget about oral health. However, it’s still very important because bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs and cause pneumonia.
If you are a representative for a nursing home resident who needs dental care and is enrolled in Medicaid, there is a regulation, called an Incurred Medical Expense, that may help pay for medically necessary care as determined by a dentist. The Medicaid caseworker at the nursing facility and the dentist providing care can work together to apply the Incurred Medical Expense to pay for needed dental benefits.
To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org
Bensonhurst Smiles  
6306 18 Ave, 2nd Floor  
Brooklyn, NY 11204  
(718) 232-4044  

Thursday, August 22, 2019

6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth (And How to Break Them): Constant Snacking

The habit: Grazing all day, especially on sugary foods and drinks, puts you at a higher risk for cavities. When you eat, cavity-causing bacteria feast leftover food, producing an acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

The solution: Eat balanced meals to feel fuller, longer. If you need a snack, make sure it's low in fat and sugar. If you indulge in the occasional sugary treat, follow it with a big glass of water to wash away leftover food.

To read the entire article please visit MouthHealthy.org


Bensonhurst Smiles  
6306 18 Ave, 2nd Floor  
Brooklyn, NY 11204  
(718) 232-4044  
BensonhurstSmiles.com