Posts for: October, 2016
There's no doubt about it — dentures have changed your life. Now you can eat and speak normally, and smile again with confidence. But if you're going to continue to benefit from your dentures, you'll need to take care of them. One of the best things you can do is not sleep with them in.
There are a couple of important reasons why you should take your dentures out when you go to bed. First, dentures tend to compress the bony ridges of the gums that support them. This contributes to the loss of the underlying bone, an occurrence common with missing teeth. Wearing dentures around the clock can accelerate this bone loss, which eventually loosens your denture fit.
Constant denture wearing also contributes to mouth conditions conducive to dental disease. You're more likely to develop tongue and denture plaque (a thin film of bacteria and food particles) that can cause gum inflammation or yeast development. The presence of the latter could also trigger a chronic response from your immune system that might make you more susceptible to other diseases.
Good oral hygiene is just as important with dentures as with natural teeth. Besides removing them at night, you should also take them out and rinse them after eating and brush them at least once a day with a soft tooth brush. And be sure to use regular dish or hand soap (especially antibacterial) or denture cleanser — toothpaste is too abrasive for denture surfaces.
It's also a good habit to store your dentures in water or, better, an alkaline peroxide solution. This will help deter plaque and yeast development. And don't forget the rest of your mouth: brush your tongue and gums with a very soft toothbrush (different from your denture brush) or clean them off with a damp cloth.
Taking care of your dentures will ensure two things. You'll lower your risk for disease — and you'll also help extend your dentures' life and fit.
For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.
After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.
As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.
Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.
Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.
What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.
To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.
If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”
Tooth decay signs aren't always obvious. Dr. Scott Terry, your North Vernon, IN dentist, shares a few common signs of cavities and discusses what you can do to prevent them.
What signs or symptoms may indicate that I have a cavity?
A toothache is one of the most obvious signs that you have a cavity. When your tooth aches or throbs, either constantly or intermittently, chances are you have a cavity. Cavities don't usually start to produce pain until they're fairly large, which is one reason that dentists recommend that you visit every six months. If your dentist notices a small cavity, he can treat your tooth before the decay has a chance to spread very far.
A change in the appearance of a tooth may also be a sign that you have a cavity. Small pits or holes or white, brown or black stains on a tooth can be indications of tooth decay. Not surprisingly, eating can be a painful experience when you have a cavity. Biting, chewing and putting pressure on the tooth can aggravate your cavity and increase pain.
You may also notice that your pain seems to increase when you eat or drink sweet foods or beverages or take a bite or sip of a cold or hot beverage or food. When the acids that cause tooth decay attack your enamel, the layer of dentin underneath is exposed. Tiny tubes travel from the pulp to the dentin. When these tubes are uncovered, you'll feel pain every time you indulge in a sugary treat or drink a cup of coffee.
How can I prevent cavities?
Although we all know that brushing is an important part of cavity prevention, too many people don't take the time to brush thoroughly. Brushing should take at least two minutes to ensure that you spend enough time cleaning each tooth. Flossing once a day helps remove plaque from the spaces between teeth that your toothbrush can't reach.
In addition to practicing good oral hygiene, it's important to visit your North Vernon dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and an exam. No matter how carefully you brush your teeth, you may not be able to remove plaque from hard-to-reach places. When plaque lingers on your teeth, it turns into tartar, a hard substance that can only be removed at the dentist's office. Tarter deposits increase your risk of developing gum disease.
Do you have any cavity symptoms? Call Dr. Terry, your North Vernon, IN dentist, at (812) 346-4500 to schedule a convenient appointment.