When it comes to oral health, protecting your teeth and gums are often the focus. However, did you know that your tongue needs proper care as well? Your tongue is responsible for many essential functions like swallowing, tasting, and talking, but it can harbor bacteria that harms your oral health. Learn how to keep your tongue healthy by following these four treatment tips.
Practice Optimal Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing twice a day will protect your mouth from pesky bacteria, but make sure to brush your tongue as well. As an alternative, try using a tongue scraper once a day. Tongue scrapers will scrape away any build up that has formed on your tongue.
Drink Plenty of Water
If you are dehydrated, it’s possible for your tongue to lose moisture and become uncomfortable. Drinking water ensures your hydration and will wash away food particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Proper hydration can also prevent bad breath.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your tongue is a muscle, and what you eat can affect its health. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, calcium, lean protein, and fiber. Avoid eating processed foods and treats that are filled with sugar.
Visit our Dental Office
By visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and examination, you can protect your tongue, teeth, and the rest of your mouth. During these visits, we will thoroughly check all aspects of your oral health. We will then work with you to create an oral health plan that is tailored to your needs.
Many sports drinks contain electrolytes which can be helpful to maintain energy levels when engaging in physical activities. You may believe that sports drinks are healthy but the truth of the matter is, they are not healthy. Energy drinks are those like Monster and Rockstar. Sports drinks and energy drinks are also seen as a tasty alternative to water when it comes to staying hydrated. It is important to know the negative effects and damage that these drinks do to your teeth.
Up to 62 percent of children of the same age drink at least one sports drink per day and between 30 and 50 percent of teenagers in the United States drink these types of beverages regularly. With these numbers being so high it is important to take notice on the negative effects these drinks can have on teeth. The danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not only from the sugar content but also from the acidity. These types of drinks contain a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying the teeth of the person drinking them in as little as five days.
There is a lot of damage being done to your oral health when consuming sports drinks and energy drinks. Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. These drinks erodes or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Athletes drink these beverages to remain hydrated and sip them frequently during exercise. This increases the time that teeth are exposed to the acidity and high sugar content of sports drinks, leaving them vulnerable to decay.
While sports drinks and energy drinks can be an alternative to water, there are ways to promote great oral health. The best way to promote oral health is to keep yourself hydrated with water to prevent negative effects that sports and energy drinks bring. If you feel that you must use sports drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterwards and do not brush your teeth right after you have consumed a sports drink. Also, read the ingredient labels before you consume drinks. Avoid high amounts of acid and sugar, especially if you already have teeth problems.
Getting healthy is great for your body and your mouth, but sports and energy drinks are not a necessary part of well-being. There are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you. One must maintain oral health to make sure to have a lasting smile. Talk to your dentist about preventative care for your oral health.
It usually starts pretty innocently. You’re biting into your favorite hard candy and suddenly you realize that there’s one little hard piece in your mouth you can’t seem to dissolve. You check it out and fear overcomes you when you see it’s a little chipped piece of a tooth.
Enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body but like most things in life, it has its limit. Whether you are chewing on ice or grinding your teeth at night, there’s always a chance of putting your teeth at risk. If you have chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things we can do to restore your beautiful smile:
Tooth bonding has many structural uses, and it can be very helpful for repairing chipped teeth. Tooth bonding is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing. The bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match your teeth. Your smile will look good as new, and people will have a hard time noticing you ever chipped a tooth to begin with.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps protect your teeth, while at the same time improving its appearance. An AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) dentist will likely use a tooth colored crown made out of porcelain or zirconia to look identical to your teeth. Crowns will also provide the durability and strength your teeth need to withstand daily use. You may only need a partial crown if our dentist sees that the chip doesn’t affect the entire tooth.
Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of several thin layers of ceramic used to repair chipped teeth. They will be bonded to the teeth to replace the original enamel of the tooth with a special adhesive. Dental veneers are a fantastic way to get your tooth to look whole and healthy again.
The internet is fraught with myths about everything. In this “information age” you might think it would be easy to find the truth, but that’s not always the case. Dentistry is no different. It’s no surprise that dental myths are abundant, especially in regard to some of the more intimidating procedures. However, advancements in dental technology have made it possible to receive the advanced care you need with little to no discomfort. Here are some common myths you might hear about root canals debunked. Contact our dental office to learn more.
Myth 1: Root canals are painful.
Long ago, this might have been the case. However, modern advancements in the techniques and technology available to dentists have made this procedure quick and relatively painless. In fact, the damaged tissue often causes more day-to-day pain and discomfort than the procedure itself will!
Myth 2: Root canals can cause illness.
In the 20th century there was a popular misconception that a root canal could put you at risk of developing illness or an infection. Not only has this been definitively disproven, but root canals have actually been shown to help prevent illness. According to a study published in a journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery), root canals can lower your risk of certain cancers by up to 45%.
Myth 3: Extraction is a better option.
When possible, it’s always preferable to keep your natural teeth. In addition to the inconvenience of dealing with a missing tooth, removing teeth can cause the surrounding ones to loosen and shift over time, possibly necessitating more procedures in the future. The success rate of a root canal treatment is extremely high and the tooth itself, with proper care, can last for a lifetime. Don’t let misinformation about dental care stop you from receiving the treatments you need.
If you have recently seen Dr. Shirazi for root canal therapy, you likely have a temporary crown placed over the tooth until the permanent crown is molded and created for your unique mouth. While some patients are eager to get through the entire process, some patients may be less eager to return for additional, necessary dental work and wondering how long they can get away with wearing the temporary crown.
So, how long can you wear the temporary crown? Well, the answer is, “It depends.” The permanent crown is typically placed within a few weeks to a month after dental procedures. The tooth and soft tissue are given time to heal, and the lab needs time to manufacture the one-of-a-kind crown. Placing the final crown may be delayed if Dr. Shirazi has recommended other dental procedures. Ideally, the permanent crown should be placed as soon as possible.
What Happens if the Temporary Crown Has Been in Longer than a Few Weeks?
The longer the temporary crown is in your mouth, the more likely the crown is to significantly wear. This can cause a shift in tooth position and the occlusion. Dr. Shirazi will advise you on how long your temporary crown can last based on placement and your oral habits.
Remember, even if you can get away with leaving a temporary crown longer than the recommended time frame, it doesn’t mean you should.Contact Dr. Shirazi if you have a question about your crown, or to schedule an appointment for your root canal therapy.
Unlike general dentists, endodontists do not clean teeth—they focus solely on diagnosing and treating infection with the dental pulp. Endodontists are the experts for pulp inflammation, infection, and root canal treatments. In addition to the four years of undergraduate and four years of dental school required, endodontists undergo an additional two to three years of training in specialized programs preparing them in their field. The advanced training Dr. Shirazi received prepared her to work in the microscopic environment inside the teeth.
Endodontists utilize NASA technology and state-of-the-art tools to work inside the teeth.
Operating microscopes. Endodontists utilize magnification and fiber optic illumination to view and work inside the tooth’s tiny interior. They also can use a small video camera attached to the operating microscope to record images of your tooth.
Ultrasonics. Endodontists use high-frequency ultrasonic instruments to irrigate root canal spaces and remove debris to help clean and prepare during endodontic procedures.
Nickel titanium. Endodontists use nickel titanium technology used by NASA in satellites to ensure flexibility and memory of instruments, ensuring more precise and efficient movements. More precise movements mean better results and less risk for the patient.
Dental dam. At first glance, the dental dam may not seem impressive, but this thin square sheet—usually made of latex or nitrile—is imperative for cleaning the effected tooth and keeping it clean and dry during dental procedures. Dr. Shirazi uses the dental dam to prevent microorganisms found in saliva from contaminating the site, and it helps keep filling materials dry during placement and curing. A dental dam can also help some patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during endodontic procedures since it creates a layer of separation from the drill and other tools and may help them feel more disassociated from the procedure. While some patients may find comfort in using the dental dam, some may feel claustrophobic or vulnerable with reduced access to the care provider. Dr. Shirazi will regularly check in with you to ensure your comfort.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults over age 20 have some amount of tooth-root decay. However, tooth decay is highly preventable. By providing effective dental care during childhood, better long-term oral health may be achieved.
Here are some practices that can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues at every age:
Brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled brush. Clean your tongue gently with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. Children should use only toothpastes designed for kids’ use. Replace toothbrushes every 2-3 months.
Clean between teeth daily. Use dental floss or another interdental cleaner. Talk to your hygienist for a recommendation and instructions for effective use.
Eat healthy foods and limit sugary and acidic foods. Drink plenty of water.
A recent study on the effectiveness of sealants was published jointly by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). They found that sealants can prevent up to 80% of tooth decay in permanent molars when used for children and teens. Adults may see similar benefits from use, as well. Additionally, no adverse effects have been reported with use of sealants on patients of any age. Talk to our dentist about whether dental sealants may help you prevent tooth decay.
Fluoridation of public water has been listed by the CDC as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century. Studies have shown tooth decay in children who have fluoridated water sources is reduced by up to 40%. If you have concerns about tooth enamel weakness or if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask our dentist whether supplemental fluoride may be right for you.
Visit our office for a professional cleaning and thorough exam at least twice each year, or as instructed. Seek treatment right away if issues are identified.
Effective preventive care saves time and money and can help ensure a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. For more information about tooth decay prevention, contact our office.
Endodontic, or root canal, treatment is a safe, effective solution for treating an infection in the tooth root or surrounding tissues. In most cases, this preserves the natural tooth, allowing it to remain healthy for many more years. While it is rare, there are occasions when an infection can return months or even years after treatment. When this occurs, an endodontic retreatment may be recommended.
When is endodontic retreatment recommended?
Though it is rare for retreatment to be needed, it may be recommended to preserve a previously-treated tooth in certain cases. The most common reason for needing retreatment is infection, which can be caused by:
New tooth decay
Loose, cracked, or broken crown
Delayed placement of the crown following initial treatment
How is endodontic retreatment performed?
Retreatment is completed in the same manner as the initial root canal treatment. Our doctor will remove the crown and filling materials, remove the infection, and clean the canals before refilling them to prevent recurrence of infection. Once healed, a new crown will be placed.
Whether you were referred by your general dentist or looking for a second opinion on a recommended treatment, we’re here to help. An endodontist is a dentist with specialized training and experience in performing root canal treatment and preserving natural teeth.
Why is an endodontist different from a general dentist?
An endodontist has two or more years of advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of issues involving your tooth roots and connected tissues. Unlike a general dentist who provides a wide range of services, our office specializes in endodontic treatments exclusively. Our doctor is an expert in root canal therapy, dental trauma, endodontic surgery, and similar treatments.
When should I see an endodontist?
You may want to see our doctor for a variety of reasons. Some of these include:
Wanting a second opinion on a tooth that was recommended for extraction
Trauma affecting your tooth root
Root canal treatment recommended by your dentist
You have a painful and/or infected tooth
Since our practice is solely focused on endodontic care, office is equipped with advanced technology for your comfort and high-quality treatment. If you have had dental trauma, are experiencing tooth pain, have been advised to have root canal treatment, or would like to see if a tooth can be saved, contact our Altoona, IA dental office.
We’ve all been told at least once in our life that flossing daily is crucial. Here are four reasons shared by our Altoona dentist on why flossing may be beneficial for your oral health routine:
Preventative care. Food and bacteria buildup between your teeth is unavoidable. Over time, these bacterial colonies lead to tooth decay and the destruction of your dental health. Flossing helps remove food and bacteria from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach.
Helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Your teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth that needs attention. Many people take care of their teeth but ignore their gums. Researchers at the New York University College of Dentistry explain that the people who floss regularly experience much lower instances of periodontal pathogens, gum bleeding, and decay-causing bacteria in contrast with people who do not floss.
Protects your smile. Flossing does more than just prevent cavities—it also preserves the bones that support your teeth. By preserving the height of that bony structure as well as a healthy smile, you’re maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance that will benefit you for years to come.
Gives you better overall health. Gum disease doesn’t just affect your mouth and jaw. It has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even respiratory diseases. Flossing daily is more than just an optimal habit—it can help keep you healthy as you age.