People often wonder, “How does a tooth get an infection when it is not alive!” The misconception that teeth are not alive leads to confusion about how teeth become infected. Because we cannot “feel” sensation on a healthy teeth, many people feel teeth are not alive.
The fact is, most of the things which make teeth are actually living cells. Similar to hair and fingernails there is a part on your teeth which is not alive – that part is called “enamel”. It is made of calcium phosphate, a very hard mineral that is perfect for breaking down food when you eat. All of the live action happens underneath that enamel.
Teeth are vital living extensions of your whole self. Teeth are subject to the same metabolic processes that affect other organs of your body. That’s why dentists and doctors can tell much about your health from your teeth, tongue, eyes, fingernails, hair, skin etc.
Like any other organ, teeth have supply of nerves and blood vessels. This blood flow helps teeth grow and mature before they emerges in the mouth.
Bacteria cannot reach those living cells inside the tooth unless teeth is cracked due to injury or decay. In most cases decay creates a pathway for bacteria to enter into the innermost part of the tooth causing infection to living tissues.
When a tooth is fully developed and is in its usual position on the jaw, it doesn’t need nerves and blood vessels to remain functional. That is why a tooth that has had a root canal treatment can remain in a person’s mouth for a lifetime and play its purpose of chewing, eating and speaking. If a tooth undergoes a root canal treatment, it will no longer be alive, but it can still stay in the mouth and remain functional.
Learning about your teeth can be fun, and taking care of your teeth can make a big difference. You have thirty-two little living things in your mouth – make sure you take good care of them!
Should you worry about your child’s teeth grinding?
Teeth Grinding, which is known as bruxism in medical terms is a condition associated with adults as well as children.
Usually children who grind their teeth do so during nights. Most of the time they are not aware about their teeth grinding actions.
Teeth grinding can not only cause headaches and jaw pain, but it can wear down teeth, which may cause kids to complain about tooth pain or sensitivity to hot and cold.
We aren’t always 100% sure why children grind their teeth. Potential causes can be:
Oral discomfort caused by teeth shift or realign, allergies or other minor illnesses.
When baby teeth erupt or permanent teeth emerge.
Because of anxiety, stress, fear, improper tooth alignment or deficiencies in the diet.
If you suspect your child grinds his or her teeth:
Try to identify and decrease your child’s stress. Allow your child to talk openly about his or her feelings.
Promote calming pre-bedtime activities to promote relaxation.
Be sure your child is getting a proper diet.
Dehydration may be linked to bruxism, therefore be sure your child is drinking enough water.
While most children stop grinding their teeth over time, but if it continues, you should always make us aware of the issue. We can help you identify any potential causes. Never hesitate to reach out to us at East Ayrshire Dental with any questions or concerns you might have.
The Teeth Whitening Diet
An apple a day keeps gum bacteria at bay. Their crisp texture and high water content increases saliva, washing away harmful bacteria that creates plaque and leads to discoloration over time. Its crunchiness, much like carrots, serves as a natural toothbrush. The malic acid, which is found in most teeth whitening products such as toothpaste, can also be found in apples, acting as a natural teeth whitening agent.
Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which can help buffer the acids in your mouth. Calcium and phosphorus also assist in the re-mineralisation or repairing of your teeth. If you eat hard cheeses, they can provide you with a natural tooth scrub, so go ahead and indulge yourself! Enjoy reduced fat cheese to minimise heart-unhealthy saturated fat in your diet.
Despite its bright red color, the chief component of strawberries – malic acid is a natural emulsifier that helps remove surface stains and plaque. Also, strawberries encourage saliva production. Strawberries might stain your shirt, but you should try mashing them up and rubbing them on your teeth. After five minutes, rinse it with water and you’ll see the difference after a couple of tries!
Nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, and sesame seeds stimulates saliva which can help wash away bacteria. They act like a scrub brush on your teeth, removing plaque and stains. Because of their protein content, nuts protect our teeth and keep them strong.
Raw vegetables acts like a toothbrush during meals. Vegetables that are high in fiber such as broccoli are good for keeping down inflammation of the gums. Because raw vegetables are difficult to chew, they increase saliva production and polishes teeth for a natural surface clean.
Onion and Garlic
Onions do not work well for your breath, but they contain antibacterial sulfur compounds that prevent plaque from forming on your teeth. And their lingering flavor helps whiten teeth in an indirect way: You’re more likely to brush your teeth after eating them. You should consume raw onion to reap the anti-plaque benefit, so include them on sandwiches and in salads whenever you can. Garlic also contains these sulfur compounds.
Citrus fruits like grapefruits, lime, lemon and oranges help rinse your teeth naturally as you eat. Their tart taste enhances saliva production for a natural rinse and polish. The acids found in citrus fruits are effective teeth whiteners.
Pineapples can help whiten teeth. Pineapple is the only food that contains bromelain, which acts as a naturally stain remover and holds anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain also helps break up plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that accumulates on your teeth.
Sugar-free chewing gum
Chewing sugarless gums acts as remover of food and dead cells from teeth, gums and tounge. Not just that, it promotes production of salvia.
Getting used to your new Dentures
Tooth replacement therapy comes in many forms, the most common of these being dentures, or “false teeth”. Whether your teeth are badly damaged and need to be pulled and replaced, or if you’ve lost all or most of your teeth, dentures today are a comfortable and affordable method of total tooth replacement. If you’ve lost a significant number of teeth, partial dentures may be used to fill in one or more missing teeth.
Your new dentures may feel strange in your mouth at first, but you should adapt fairly quickly. Over time, your gums will change shape and your dentures may need to be adjusted or replaced to maintain proper fit and comfort. Be sure to visit your dentist whenever you think your dentures may need adjustments.
Often they will rub the gums a bit at first, meaning that they need to be adjusted by the dentist – so if you get an ulcer, this does not mean that you cannot or will not be able to wear them – just call the dentist!
Choosing your food
Eating and drinking will certainly feel weird. To prevent any inconveniences, we recommend that you only eat soft and non-sticky food. Soup, yogurt, boiled potatoes are all permissible. Avoid chewing gum at all costs.
Soreness or irritation
It’s perfectly normal to experience some minor soreness and irritation. You may even find that the flow of saliva increases temporarily. These problems should diminish as your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures. If any problem persists, especially soreness or irritation, consult your dentist.
Speaking with dentures
Regardless of whether you wear partial or full dentures, you will probably go through a period of adjustment before getting used to them. This is because your tongue – the source of articulation – has to learn where your new teeth are. While some people adjust easily to dentures, the majority will find that their speech is mildly impaired, with slurred speech being a common symptom in the early stages.
To improve your speech after you get your new dentures, practice speaking aloud on a frequent basis, but start off slowly and quietly, building up to a normal level gradually. Pretty soon, it will be difficult for others listening to you to tell that you wear dentures.
If you have any unanswered questions about Dentures, please do not hesitate to contact us at East Ayrshire Dental.
Myths about Baby Teeth
In this blog we have tried to clear misconceptions about a child’s first teeth which are also called primary teeth, milk teeth or baby teeth. Here are few myths about baby teeth that every parent should know:
Myth-1: Cavities in baby teeth do not matter:
If there is decay in baby tooth, it can lead to infection and potentially damage to unerupted permanent tooth. Therefore care of baby tooth is needed to eliminate decay and discomfort to permanent tooth.
Myth-2: There’s no need to brush baby teeth:
Parents should begin brushing teeth as soon as they appear. While it will help prevent tooth decay, at the same time it develops good oral care habits into your child.
Myth-3: Kids don’t need to see a dentist until they are older:
Many parents believe there is no need to see a dentist for their child until there is a problem in tooth or until they grow older. Visiting a dentist early with your child will ensure that your child has a good impression about a dentist in early age. This will not stop your child to visit dentist in future because of dental phobia or fear of a dentist. After first visit your child develops a trusting relationship with the dentist. Parents should bring their children for a first dental visit as soon as the first tooth emerges or when child is 1 year of age.
Myth-4: Baby teeth are not that important:
The front 4 baby teeth can last until 7 years of age, and the back teeth last until 13 years of age. Some people believe because these are not permanent teeth they are not that important. This belief can cause damage to permanent teeth. Baby teeth reserve space for permanent teeth, thereby they help permanent teeth to erupt at correct position. For example, a baby teeth lost too early can lead to crawling of permanent teeth.
Please do not hesitate to contact East Ayrshire Dental for your unanswered questions about baby teeth. We would love to talk to you about any questions or concerns you might have!
Myths about Root Canal Treatment
If you were recently informed that you need a root canal, chances are the minute you left your dentist’s office, you immediately began scouring the internet for information on this well-known but highly misunderstood dental service. The internet can be a great place to gather helpful information, but it is also plagued by unreliable sources and dangerously inaccurate information that can lead unknowing online researchers astray. The following are common myths and misinformation about root canals and tooth pain that are prevalent online:
Myth 1: Root canal therapy is painful:
There is the stigma root canal is a painful procedure. But, the truth is root canal therapy is performed to relieve pain. Root canals are needed when an untreated cavity spreads to the pulp of your tooth and causes an infection. This is where the pain comes from, not the procedure itself.
Dentist at East Ayrshire Dental will numb the area around the infected tooth where you will hardly feel anything during the procedure. Once complete, the excruciating pain you’ve experience before will disappear, and your tooth will be saved.
Myth 2: Completing a root canal requires several appointments:
Root canal therapy may be completed in one to two appointments. Factors that determine the number of appointments necessary to complete a root canal include:
The extent of the infection.
The difficulty of the root canal.
Restoring the tooth after root canal therapy is necessary in order to ensure the tooth functions properly. The appointments necessary to completely restore the tooth, in essence, should not be considered part of the root canal process.
Myth 3: A root canal is a costly treatment:
Having a root canal and a dental crown remains less expensive than extracting a tooth and then replacing it with a bridge or a dental implant. Costs vary on how many canals a tooth has, whether it’s the first time the root canal is achieved or re-treatment, or who performs the root canal (general dentist or specialist).
Myth 4: The benefits of root canal therapy are temporary:
Results from a root canal are actually long-lasting. They relieve patients’ toothaches and preserve the affected tooth indefinitely. The final restoration or crown is the key to successful results.
Myth 5: A good alternative to root canal is tooth extraction:
Sometimes, to avoid spending extra time and money for a root canal procedure, patients opt for a tooth extraction. Unfortunately, the patient may be unaware that a tooth extraction will eventually create a need for more extensive procedures and costly tooth replacements. After an extraction, the missing tooth should be replaced with restorative dentistry services such as dental implants or bridges, thus requiring more time in the dental chair and treatments that are much more expensive than a simple root canal.
More importantly, root canal treatments conserve more healthy tooth structure. While dental implants and bridges may be durable replacements, healthy, natural teeth will always be stronger and more functional than a prosthetic.
Benefits of Implant Supported Dentures
If you are dealing with the partial or full loss of a tooth, implant supported dentures can be one of the most useful dental treatments. Implant supported dentures work to optimise your oral health by improving the appearance of your teeth, restoring your ability to bite and chew normally and even boosting the overall function of your mouth. Dental implants and implant supported dentures work together to upgrade the aesthetic value and the practical usefulness of your teeth.
Dental Implants have changed the way we look at dentistry. Dental implants are not just for single tooth or multiple teeth replacement. They can also be used in support and stabilisation of removable dentures. Long time denture wearers will tell you that over time the bone remodels and resorbs resulting in loose and ill fitting dentures. Now with the development of dental implant supported dentures those days can be a relic left in the past for many patients.
As few as four implants can be placed into the jaw in strategic positions to anchor the dentures firmly into the mouth. A short period of surgery is required for the implant posts to be placed into the jawbone and once this is done they’re left to heal and bond with the surrounding bone and gum tissue to form a permanent fixture in the mouth. Special fittings are then used to attached the dentures to the implants and the wearer can simply remove them to clean, and then snap them back into position.
Benefits of implant-supported dentures:
01. Enhanced Stability:
Traditional dentures sit on the gums, where they are generally held in place using a denture adhesive. For many patients, this leaves the dentures feeling loose, and may result in the dentures slipping or falling out of place. Implant-supported dentures are attached to metal abutments, which are connected to dental implants that have actually fused with the jawbone. Essentially, this makes the implant-supported dentures just as secure as the natural teeth, giving patients the most comfortable fit possible, and eliminating the fear that dentures will fall out of place.
02. Speech Enhancement:
Any denture or bridge supported by implants will have a positive impact on speech ability, especially involving the upper jaw. But patients who’ve previously worn removable dentures may not see a dramatic difference but will still be able to benefit from the greater stability of the denture, particularly if the dentures were previously unstable.
03. Less Bone Loss:
When the natural teeth are lost, the surrounding bone loses its role of supporting them and the body starts to resorb it as useless. The lack of stimulation provided by the teeth roots can lead to massive bone loss in the jaws, seriously affecting facial integrity and appearance. Dentures start to not fit well and have to be replaced or repaired every few years. Implants act as the teeth roots continuing to stimulate the bone cells and help the jawbone around them to stop deteriorating. If enough denture implants are used they can help the jawbone structures to remain healthy and intact.
For personal satisfaction, this is often the ultimate test – how will I look? As a product of the evolving art of facial aesthetics, removable dentures supported by implants can replace lost tissues and restore balance to the face, and often produce a remarkable smile “makeover.”
After the process of teeth whitening at dental clinic few patients may feel sensation to hot and cold for about a week’s time. The sensation is not permanent and goes away naturally after few days or weeks.
Myth-2: Harms the enamel:
Teeth whitening treatments performed by a qualified dentist are absolutely safe and do not harm the tooth enamel. However some over-the-counter whitening products can damage enamel if they contain strong chemicals which can damage health of teeth enamel and gums.
Using peroxide to whiten teeth is very effective and safe. It has been used since more than 30 years. During this period many advancements have taken place, making the bleaching gel absolutely safe in terms of change or damage to the structure of teeth.
Myth-3: It is painful:
Teeth Whitening treatment is 100% painless. However if the bleaching agent comes in contact with gums, it may cause discomfort. Gel is applied on gums which act as a barrier and prevents bleaching agent touching the gum.
In exceptional cases some patients may experience a minor ache till few hours after the treatment. Taking over-the-counter pain medication can help resolve this discomfort.
Myth-4: It requires multiple visits to the dentist over the months:
With the help of technology your teeth can be brighten up to 8 shades within an hour’s time. Only in some cases where results are not as desired, you may have to undergo for another session of teeth whitening treatment. However in most cases desired results are achieved within an hour’s time.
Myth-5: You won’t have cavities after teeth whitening:
Although the whitening process makes teeth look and feel healthy, bleach doesn’t resolve tooth decay. You will still need to have cavities filled to keep the decay from reaching the inside of your tooth. Your dentist will usually fill the cavities first, and then schedule the whitening appointment.
Myth-6: You don’t need oral care after teeth whitening:
Sorry, but No. Whitening does not disrupt bacteria colonies or remove plaque from your teeth. You must continue brushing and flossing your teeth two to three times a day to prevent the accumulation of plaque. Your dentist should perform a thorough cleaning session once every six to twelve months.
Myth-7: Results last for decades:
Sadly, not true. Your dental care and type of food and drinks you consume directly influences how long your teeth stay bright. Smoking and age also impact the color of your teeth.
If you have any unanswered questions talk to our dentist. Call us at 01560 329 577.
Dental Implant Vs. Fixed Bridge – Which Is Best?
Nowadays when there are several treatment options available for missing teeth, it is very important to study pros and cons of each treatment before you decide to choose for replacing them. While Fixed Bridge option was selected by people for replacing a missing teeth since years, modern dentistry has made replacing teeth with dental implants a popular option. Irrespective of whether you have one or several missing teeth, you should consider following when deciding between a dental implant and a fixed bridge:
Both a dental implant and a fixed bridge will help replace teeth that were lost, which is good news for your oral function. A bridge is a fake tooth supported by two dental crowns; getting a crown means that adjoining teeth need to buffed down so that the crown/cap can be placed. A Bridge requires healthy teeth to be physically altered in order to accommodate the crowns that support the bridge. This is why modern dentistry recommends implant-supported dental bridges as an alternative to suitable candidates. Dental implants are titanium screws that are surgically placed into the jaw, where they fuse with the bone and act as artificial tooth roots. Because titanium is not recognised as a foreign substance by the human body, the dental implants essentially become part of the patient’s natural anatomy, providing unrivaled support for the dental bridge. Implant supported bridge are simply caps (crowns) placed on titanium screw itself. Therefore they save adjoining teeth from loosing some of the tooth substance.
In the case of a bridge, a dentist will need healthy adjacent teeth for support. Therefore fixed bridges require that at least one tooth be present surrounding the site of a lost tooth. Advantage of implants is that they can be used to replace more than one missing natural tooth. With dental implants various combinations are possible as explained in above image.
The life expectancy of bridgework is less than that of implants. There are more things that can go wrong with bridges, as they are (in general) not held as securely in place. Tooth decay, for example can destroy a tooth that holds the bridgework, whereas an implant is immune to decay. However both can be damaged by gum disease, so you need to maintain good oral hygiene.
Initial treatment cost of dental implants is typically more than a bridge. However dental implants do last longer than fixed bridges and can be considered a wise investment for long term oral health.
Easy maintain and clean:
If you are considering implants, you should take in consideration another important advantage – implants are easier to maintain. The cleaning process is very simple and flossing between implants is possible.
To get a bridge, you will have to undergo a simple dental procedure that involves no surgery, whereas dental implants require surgical intervention.
A dental bridge is recommended in the case of jaw bone loss or significant damage. The process will be simpler, less painful and less expensive in such instances. It is important to know that the positioning of dental implants demands healthy bone or bone grafting procedure where sufficient bone does not exist.
Retain jawbone structure:
Once a tooth is extracted or lost, the bone that used to hold it in place shrinks away even after bridge is placed. If there are several missing teeth, this may result in a visible change in the shape of the face. This can make a person look aged. A great benefit of a implants is that they can help maintain the bone structure. A bone graft may first be needed, but once the metal settles, the bone will be preserved. Therefore the jaw shape will remain fuller and more natural. A dental bridge has no such benefits with regards to bone preservation.
Knowing these factors will help you make an informed decision about dental implants and bridges. Each option has its advantages that need to be compared for an informed decision to be made.
If you have still unanswered questions contact East Ayrshire Dental for more information about getting dental implants, bridges or other treatments for tooth replacement.