Posts for: June, 2019
Are you dealing with a cavity? If so, then you’ll need to restore the tooth with a filling.
Are you visiting our Pensacola, FL, dentist, Dr. Edwin Yee, every six months for cleanings and checkups? If you don’t remember the last time you received a cleaning, then it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. After all, decay is one of the leading oral diseases in both children and adults, and the sooner this problem is caught and treated the better.
Of course, if we detect decay early on, we may not even need to place a filling. Given that decay is a gradually progressive disease, we may be able to remove any plaque and then monitor the tooth during your routine checkups to see if it’s progressing.
On the other hand, in the event that the decay has progressed to a deeper level, we may need to remove it and place a dental filling—but how do you know if this necessary?
When do you need a dental filling?
If your decay has turned into a full-blown cavity, then our dentist will need to remove the decay so that it doesn’t continue to spread. Once the decay has been removed, a dental filling will be placed. This filling is designed to restore and rebuild the tooth after the decayed enamel has been drilled away. A filling doesn’t just restore the tooth’s appearance, but its strength and durability, as well.
In most cases, a tooth-colored material, such as composite resin, is used to fill the tooth. This material can be matched to the shade of the tooth ahead of time so that it blends right in. The resin is also moldable, allowing it to be easily shaped and contoured to the tooth. Dental fillings aren’t noticeable, so you won’t have to worry that they will be visible when you smile.
What are the signs of a cavity?
Sometimes a person may have a cavity and not even know it, which is why it’s important to visit your dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. However, you may have a cavity if,
- You have a toothache
- Your tooth is suddenly sensitive to hot/cold temperatures, pressure, or sweets
- There is a visible hole or dark spot on the tooth
Concerned? Give our Pensacola office a call
No matter whether you are concerned that you may have a cavity or it’s just time for you to schedule a cleaning, call our Pensacola, FL, dental office today at (850) 479-3355. We will find an appointment that works best with your schedule!
Although cancer treatment has advanced steadily in recent decades, the most used therapies continue to be radiation and chemotherapy to eradicate cancerous cells. And while they often work, both can cause "collateral damage" in healthy tissues near the targeted cells.
This can create a number of indirect consequences for a patient's health, including in the mouth. The salivary glands, for example, can be damaged by radiation treatments aimed at the head or neck. The effect on these glands can interrupt the normal flow of saliva and cause xerostomia or "dry mouth."
Lack of adequate saliva causes more than an unpleasant, sticky mouth feeling. One of saliva's main functions is to neutralize acid that builds up naturally after eating. Without it, high acid levels can cause enamel and root surface erosion and lead to tooth decay.
Cancer treatment can also contribute to gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). This disease causes stomach acid to bypass the natural tissue barriers of the esophagus and enter the mouth. As with dry mouth, the increased acid level from GERD can be just as devastating to enamel—and the damage will be permanent.
To minimize these effects on your dental health, it's important to take proactive steps before, during and after cancer treatment. If at all possible, have any needed dental work performed before you begin radiation or chemotherapy—it's better to start it with teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
During treatment, try to continue regular dental visits to monitor your oral health and receive any needed preventive or therapeutic treatments. Depending on your condition and the advice of your dentist, you may need to increase your visit frequency during this time. Your dentist can help with boosting your saliva production and strengthening your tooth enamel. But you should also practice daily brushing and flossing, drink plenty of water and seek treatment for any resulting GERD symptoms.
Even with the best efforts, though, your teeth and gums may still incur damage while treating your cancer. Fortunately, there are a wide array of materials and procedures that can effectively restore them to health. So, once your treatments are completed consult with a dentist on your options for improving the health and appearance of your teeth and gums.
Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life — but it can also generate a lot of questions about both the mother’s and the baby’s health. The realm of dental care is no exception.
Here are a few of the questions we frequently hear from expectant mothers, along with our answers.
Does the baby’s tooth calcium come from my teeth?
This question is frequently asked by mothers who may have had dental issues and are worried they’ll pass on these problems to their baby. Simply put, no — a baby developing in the womb derives minerals like calcium for their teeth and bones from the mother’s diet, not her teeth. What an expectant mother can do is be sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in nutrients and minerals like calcium.
Am I at heightened risk for dental disease during pregnancy?
Pregnancy does cause significant increases in your body’s hormones, particularly estrogen. This can cause changes in the gum tissue’s blood vessels that may make you more susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease (commonly called “pregnancy gingivitis”). It’s also possible later in pregnancy to develop non-cancerous overgrowths of gum tissues called “pregnancy tumors.” The heightened risk for gum disease during pregnancy calls for increased vigilance in monitoring gum health.
What should I do to take care of my teeth?
It’s important to brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with ADA-approved fluoridated toothpaste to remove plaque, a thin layer of bacteria and food remnants that adhere to teeth. You should also floss daily and consider using an anti-plaque/anti-gingivitis mouthrinse. And, of course, you should see us for regular office cleanings and checkups, or if you notice swollen, tender or bleeding gums, or other abnormalities.
Should I take prenatal fluoride supplements?
This sounds appealing as a way to give your baby a head start on strong tooth development. Studies on its effectiveness, however, remain slim and somewhat inconclusive — we simply don’t have enough data to make a recommendation. What does have a solid research record is the application of fluoride to teeth in young children just after they appear in the mouth — studies involving over a thousand teeth have shown 99% cavity-free results using topical fluoride applications with sealants.
If you would like more information on dental care during pregnancy, 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 “Expectant Mothers.”