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Dentistry News

10 Biggest Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

1. You Brush With too Much Gusto: Sometimes tooth sensitivity comes from brushing with too much force or a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard.  Over time, you can wear down the protective layers of your teeth and expose the microscopic hollow tubes, or canals, that lead to your dental nerves.  When these tubules are exposed to hot or cold, or to acidic or sticky foods, tooth sensitivity and discomfort can be the result.  The simplest solution is to switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles and to be gentler when brushing.

2. You Eat Acidic Foods: If the pathways to your nerves are exposed, acidic foods such as tomato sauce, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, and pickles can cause pain.  Use common sense: Stick to foods that won’t cause you pain.

3. You’re a tooth grinder: Grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel, even though it’s the strongest substance in your body.  By doing so, you expose the dentin, the middle layer of the tooth, which contains the hollow tubes that lead to your nerves.  Talk to your dentist about finding a mouthguard that can stop you from grinding.  The best guards are custom-made to fit your bite.

4. You have Gum Disease: Receding gums, which are increasingly common with age (especially if you haven’t kept up with your dental health routine), can cause tooth sensitivity.  If gum disease or gingivitis is the problem, your dentist may suggest a procedure to seal your teeth along with treating the gum disease itself.

5. You Have Excessive Plaque: The purpose of flossing and brushing is to remove plaque that forms after you eat.  An excessive buildup of plaque can cause your enamel to wear away.  Again, your teeth can become more sensitive as they lose their enamel protection.  The solution is to practice good daily dental care and visit your dentist for cleanings every six months- or more frequently if necessary.

6. There is Decay Around the Edges of Fillings: As you get older, fillings can weaken and fracture or leak around the edges.  It’s easy for bacteria to accumulate in these tiny crevices, which causes acid buildup and enamel breakdown.  See your dentist if you notice this type of tooth sensitivity between visits: in most cases, fillings can be easily replaced.

7: You Choose Whitening Toothpaste: Many manufacturers add tooth whitening chemicals to their toothpaste formulas, and some people are more sensitive to them than others.  If your toothpaste could be to blame for tooth sensitivity consider switching toothpaste.

8. You’re a Mouthwash Junkie: Like whitening toothpaste, some over-the-counter mouthwashes and rinses contain alcohol and other chemicals that can make your teeth more sensitive -especially if you have exposed dentin.  Solution: Try neutral fluoride rinses- or simply skip the rinse and be more diligent in brushing and flossing.

9. You’ve Had a Dental Procedure: Teeth often become more sensitive after you’ve been in the dentist’s chair.  It’s common to have the same sensitivity  after a root canal, extraction or the placement of a crown.  If your sensitivity doesn’t disappear after a short time, another visit to your dentist is in order – it could be an infection.

10. Your Tooth is Cracked: A chipped or cracked tooth can cause pain that goes beyond tooth sensitivity.  Your dentist will need to evaluate your tooth and decide the right course of treatment, such as a crown or extraction.

Are You Brushing Your Teeth the Wrong Way?

Here are the top tooth brushing mistakes people make:

1. Using the wrong style of brush: Some people still like a medium or hard toothbrush, but soft, round-ended bristles are actually better for you.  When plaque is soft it will come off with a soft brush.  Once it hardens into tartar or calculus, it won’t come off with brushing, no matter how hard the tooth brush, however you can damage the delicate gum tissue by using the harder types of brushes.

2. Not replacing an old brush: You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months for dental health, but many people go way beyond this point.  When the brush is splayed out it can’t properly clean all the surfaces of your teeth, in addition a lot of the power brushes lose cleaning power as the brush head ages.

3. Brushing back and forth: Often, the brushing mistake has to do with technique.  Brush in a circular motion, angling the brush at 45-degrees to the gum line and focus on a few teeth at a time.   This allows you to clean under the gums, where most plaque is present and causes the most damage.   This also aids in not over-brushing.

4.Moving all around: People don’t always follow a set order as they move around their mouth brushing.  Brushing this way we tend to miss various surfaces of the tooth because it’s hard to know where you have and have not brushed.  You should use a systematic approach.  There are four quadrants of the mouth and three surfaces to brush per tooth, you should brush all the surfaces of one quadrant of the mouth at the same time.

5. Brushing too aggressively: Not a lot of force is needed to do a good job at brushing your teeth.  Most bacteria and food particles that remain on teeth are very soft in texture.  Gentle brushing is all it takes to get the job done.  If you use an electric toothbrush, let the brush do the work, that’s what it was designed to do, it does not need the added force of your heavy hand.   It could have negative effects such as gum recession.

6. Not brushing long enough: Most people think they brush 1 to 2 minutes, when in reality it is more like 30 seconds.  It is important to access all areas of the mouth and all tooth surfaces to effectively clean the remaining bacteria and food.

7. Using too much toothpaste: The flip side of the previous tip is that most of us slather way more toothpaste onto our brush than we actually need.   A pea size amount is all that is needed, the rest is wasted.

8. Not using an electric toothbrush?: For the most thorough brushing job, most dentists agree that it’s time to make the switch if you haven’t already.  There is no possible way to brush your teeth as thoroughly with a manual toothbrush.  Many have timers to ensure you are brushing long enough.  It makes brushing easier, just hold the brush in the proper position and let the brush do the work.

Company News

Why Radiographs are Necessary

We only take the necessary radiographs at our practice. A necessary radiograph is one that is used to diagnose the extent of a dental problem that we already know exists, such as a broken tooth, a cavity, or an abscess.  We also must use radiographs as part of an initial or periodic oral examination.  In these examinations, radiographs are used to determine whether there are problems in a beginning stage that cannot be seen merely by looking at the tooth or area.

We can only see about 50% of your oral conditions without radiographs.  Radiographs allow us to see, among other things, in between the teeth, at and below the margins of fillings and crowns, and the location and density of bone that supports your teeth.  With this information we can make a full and accurate diagnosis.  Radiographs are NOT considered a preventive measure, however, they do allow us to diagnose and treat a problem early, thus preventing it from becoming worse.

Sometimes we must take several radiographs of on e particular area.  Radiographs are only a two-dimensional, black and white representation of a three-dimensional, colored tooth and bone.  Radiographs taken from different angles give a more three dimensional view of various anatomic features.  We will have a better understanding of what kind, size and location of any problems.

The healthier your mouth is and the more unremarkable your dental history, the fewer radiographs will be necessary.  The more dental problems you have had, the more monitoring and therefore, the more radiographs are necessary.

Radiation Safety

We are very concerned with radiation safety.  Appropriate protective lead shields are always provided to the patient.  We work with the radiograph units all day and have a vested interest in only taking the necessary radiographs for both your health and ours.  Be assured that the only radiograph we recommend are those we need in order to accurately diagnose and provide you with exceptional dental care.

Now In-Network with Several Dental Insurance Policies

We are pleased to announce that we are now in-network with several different dental insurance companies.   They are as follows:

  • Cigna
  • Met Life
  • United Concordia
  • Delta Dental
  • Premier Dental
  • Guardian

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions in regards to your benefits and our patient coordinator will be glad to help you.