Posts for: November, 2017
Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.
First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.
Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?
Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.
Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.
So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.
Discovering a loose tooth can be exciting — if you're six, that is, and anticipating a windfall from the tooth fairy. If you're an adult, a loose tooth is a different story. You're in real danger of it becoming a lost tooth, and there won't be another one coming in to replace it.
Fortunately, that result isn't inevitable, but we have to take quick action if we're going to save your tooth. The first step is to find out why it's loose.
Tooth looseness occurs primarily because the gum and bone structures that hold teeth in place have been damaged in some way. Otherwise healthy teeth and gums can be injured in an accident or with dental habits like teeth grinding or clenching that increase the biting forces against teeth. The latter could require some intervention like a night guard to prevent teeth from grinding to reduce the abnormal biting force.
But disease is often the root cause for tooth looseness. Periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection triggered by bacterial plaque, can inflame and weaken gum tissues, eventually causing bone loss followed by the gum tissue detaching from the teeth. In this weakened condition even normal biting forces could loosen a tooth.
If gum disease is the primary culprit, our treatment starts there. By aggressively removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from the tooth surfaces, including deep below the gum line around the root, the gum tissues become less inflamed and begin to heal. This in turn can strengthen their attachment to a loose tooth. In more advanced cases, we may need to surgically graft lost bone and gum tissue to rebuild the attachment.
We may also need to stabilize a loose tooth while we're performing these other treatments. The most common way is to join or splint a loose tooth to nearby stable teeth. There are varieties of splints: one type involves rigid dental material bonded across the enamel of the loose tooth and its neighbors. In another, we cut a small channel in the involved teeth, and then insert a metal splint, bonding it within the channel.
Whatever needs to be done, we need to do it promptly — if you notice a loose tooth, contact us as soon as possible. The earlier we begin treatment the more likely we'll save your loose tooth.
If you would like more information on treating loose teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treatment for Loose Teeth.”
Do you avoid chewing on one side of your mouth due to a damaged tooth? A dental crown can restore your tooth's normal function and improve your appearance. Ringwood, NJ, dentists Dr. David Kahn and Dr. John Pergolizzi share some information about this versatile restoration method.
What are crowns?
Dental crowns, also called caps, cover the portions of your teeth that extend above your gum line. The restorations look just like your natural teeth, but if you were to turn them over, you'll notice that they're hollow inside. Before you receive a crown, your tooth will be prepared. Reducing the size of the tooth ensures that there will be plenty of room for the restoration to slip over your tooth.
Your teeth produce a tremendous amount of pressure when you chew on a piece of steak or gnaw on a raw carrot. Because the forces you generate are so strong, your crown must be equally strong or it will soon break apart. Porcelain, one of the most common crown materials, is a good choice because the material is extremely tough and closely resembles tooth enamel. Porcelain can be used alone or fused to a layer of metal.
When are dental crowns recommended?
We may recommend a dental crown when you visit our Ringwood office if:
- Your tooth is broken: Crowns restore height and width to broken teeth and make it possible to use your teeth to chew once again. In some cases, root canal therapy may be needed before you can receive a crown.
- Your tooth is at high risk of a fracture: Crowns are also used to prevent damage to teeth. Any change to your tooth structure can weaken the tooth and make it more likely to break apart one day when you take a bite of food. Teeth can become weaker if they're cracked or if the structure has been weakened by large fillings or root canal treatment.
- You want to change the shape or length of your tooth: Crowns offer the ideal way to lengthen teeth or change the shape of crooked, twisted or pointed teeth.
- You want to conceal an imperfection: Crowns effectively hide chips, discolorations, uneven tooth surfaces and other flaws.
Restore and protect your damaged teeth with dental crowns. Call Ringwood, NJ, dentists Drs. David Kahn and John Pergolizzi at (973) 835-3900.