Posts for category: Mouth Care
If you've ever suffered from a canker sore, then you know these small, persistent ulcers can be a real pain in the mouth. Unlike cold sores which appear on the outside of the mouth and are caused by a virus, canker sores are not contagious and usually disappear within a few weeks. Generally, canker sores make eating, swallowing, speaking and tooth brushing very painful. Fortunately, as the sore heals, the pain also diminishes.
Canker sores are characterized by one or more painful sores on the tongue, soft palate, insides of the cheeks or lips and the gums. These inflamed, tender sores are typically round, white, or gray in color, with a red surrounding border
While their exact cause is unknown, common triggers of a canker sore may include:
- Immune deficiencies
- Aggressive tooth brushing
- Oral tissue injury
- Allergic reaction
- Spicy or acidic foods
- Abrasive foods or dental appliances
If one does develop, rinse with salt water daily and apply an over-the-counter oral numbing agent to alleviate the pain. Doing so will speed up the healing process and make eating, drinking and brushing more bearable.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Monitor your canker sores as they develop to detect unusual changes. Canker sores will generally heal on their own and don't require treatment. If your sores are abnormally large, last longer than a few weeks or are so painful you can't eat or drink, you should make an appointment with our Terrace Park and Lovelan, OH offices. Recurring canker sores and intolerable pain is not normal and should be examined by a dentist.
Also known as teeth grinding, bruxism is a condition in which people grind, clench or gnash their teeth. Most people clench at night, but others do it unconsciously throughout the day. Bruxism does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can become damaged and other oral health complications can arise.
Chronic acts of grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening or loss of the teeth. Severe cases can also lead to jaw disorders, like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and frequent headaches.
Common warning signs and symptoms of chronic teeth grinding may include:
- Worn down, flattened or chipped teeth
- Frequent earaches, facial pain or jaw pain
- Unexplained headaches, particularly in the morning
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Indentions on tongue
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deep layers of the tooth
- Chewed tissue on inside of cheek
- Enlarged or tightened jaw muscles due to severe contractions
- Grinding or clenching that is loud enough to awaken others in your household
There isn't one cause of bruxism, but many times teeth grinding is related with reasons such as stress or a natural response due to the misalignment of teeth. In children, many times bruxism is a result of the growth and development of the jaws and teeth.
Treatment for bruxism will vary, depending on the severity and cause. Sometimes simple behavior modification or relaxation techniques may be enough to reduce teeth clenching. If bruxism is caused by dental problems, Distinctive Smiles can work with you to correct the malocclusion. Other possible solutions include dental appliances which can also protect the teeth from the impact of grinding.
Unfortunately, you may not even realize that you have bruxism until it causes significant damage to your teeth. If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, visit Distinctive Smiles for an evaluation. During regular visits to our Loveland or Terrace Parks offices, the teeth are examined for evidence of grinding, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth. Distinctive Smiles can help you identify your cause of grinding and determine the best treatment to help you stop.
A toothache. A knocked out or broken tooth. A lost crown or filling. You can't always stop dental injuries from occurring, but you can help ease the pain and prevent additional dental damage until you can get to a dentist. At Distinctive Smiles, we realize accidents can happen, and when patients are prepared to handle dental emergencies, it can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.
Easy Ways to Avoid Dental Injuries
- Avoid chewing ice or hard candy which can crack teeth
- Avoid ripping objects with teeth, such as sealed packages and tape
- Avoid the risk of injury to teeth, gums, lips and tongue by wearing a mouthguard when participating in sports and high-impact activities
- Visit Distinctive Smiles for regular check ups and cleanings
Whether you're at home, in the car or at work, when a dental emergency strikes, you'll want to be prepared. Until you can get into our Loveland and Terrace Park dental offices, following these basic steps can help relieve the pain, save your tooth and prevent additional damage. Before acting on any dental emergency, you should always contact Distinctive Smiles first to ensure safe and appropriate care.
Temporary Treatment for Common Dental Emergencies
- Toothache: Rinse mouth with warm water to clean the affected tooth, and gently floss to remove food or debris that may be trapped between the teeth. If pain persists, visit a dentist for a thorough evaluation as it may indicate a cavity or infection.
- Broken tooth: Rinse mouth with warm water; locate the lost filling or tooth pieces; and control swelling or bleeding with an ice pack and gauze. See your dentist as soon as possible.
- Knocked out tooth: Gently place the tooth back into the socket if possible. If not, tuck it between your cheek and gum or place it in a small container of milk. Getting to your dentist within one hour of the accident with the tooth is your best bet for successfully reattaching the tooth to the supporting tissues.
- Objects caught between teeth: Rinse your mouth with warm water. If that doesn't work, gently try to remove the object with floss. Avoid using sharp instruments that could injure or cut the gums. If the object can't be dislodged, visit Distinctive Smiles for professional assistance.
Temporary dental care is just that- temporary. It's important to seek professional dental assistance as soon as possible following an injury to your teeth or gums.
Fortunately, an unforeseen dental emergency can usually be prevented with early detection and preventative care. Practice good oral hygiene-brushing and flossing daily-and visit our Loveland and Terrace Park offices for regular check ups and cleanings. As a general rule, if your teeth or mouth hurt, visit Distinctive Smiles for a careful evaluation and proper treatment.
Experiencing a severe, unrelenting toothache? You may be suffering from an abscessed tooth- an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth. A tooth abscess begins when bacteria invade and infect a tooth. As a result, a pocket of pus is formed which causes painful pressure. Tooth decay is the leading cause of an abscessed tooth, but gum disease and dental trauma can also lead to an infection.
Persistent toothaches that result in throbbing or sharp pain are common symptoms of a tooth abscess. Other symptoms include:
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Feeling of overall uneasiness or illness
- Redness and inflammation of the gums
- Bad taste in mouth or foul smelling breath
If you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you'll want to visit Distinctive Smiles as soon as possible, as an abscess won't go away on its own. Delaying treatment can lead to serious health complications, including tooth loss and the spread of infection to your soft tissues or the jaw bone. An abscess that ruptures or a tooth root that dies as a result of the infection may reduce the pain significantly, but dental treatment will still be necessary as the infection remains active and can continue to spread to surrounding tissues.
Treatment for a tooth abscess may vary depending on the severity of the infection. At Distinctive Smiles our treatment plan focuses on eliminating the infection, preserving the tooth, and preventing further dental complications.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is the best way to prevent dental problems that may lead to an abscessed tooth, including daily brushing, flossing and a healthy diet. Additionally, regular visits to our Loveland and Terrace Park offices for cleanings and check ups are also critical for detecting dental problems early.