Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Is Dry Mouth?


What do I Need to Know About Dry Mouth?

Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while — if they are nervous, upset or under stress.
But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems.
Dry mouth ...
  • Can cause difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking
  • Can increase your chance of developing dental decay and other infections in the mouth
  • Can be a sign of certain diseases and conditions
  • Can be caused by certain medications or medical treatments
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. So if you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician — there are things you can do to get relief.

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet.
Symptoms Include:
  • A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking
  • A burning feeling in the mouth
  • A dry feeling in the throat
  • Cracked lips
  • A dry, tough tongue
  • Mouth sores
  • An infection in the mouth
Why is Saliva so Important?
  • Saliva does more than keep the mouth wet. It helps digest food
  • It protects teeth from decay
  • It prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth
  • It makes it possible for you to chew and swallow
Without enough saliva you can develop tooth decay or other infections in the mouth. You also might not get the nutrients you need if you cannot chew and swallow certain foods.

What causes Dry Mouth?

People get dry mouth when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. Because of this, there might not be enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. There are several reasons why these glands (called salivary glands) might not work right.
  • Side effects of some medicines — more than 400 medicines can cause the salivary glands to make less saliva. Medicines for high blood pressure and depression often cause dry mouth
  • Disease — some diseases affect the salivary glands. Sj√∂gren's Syndrome, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease can all cause dry mouth
  • Radiation therapy — the salivary glands can be damaged if they are exposed to radiation during cancer treatment
  • Chemotherapy — drugs used to treat cancer can make saliva thicker, causing the mouth to feel dry.
  • Nerve damage — injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves that tell salivary glands to make saliva.

What Can be Done About Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth treatment will depend on what is causing the problem. If you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician. He or she can try to determine what is causing your dry mouth.
  • If your dry mouth is caused by medicine, your physician might change your medicine or adjust the dosage
  • If your salivary glands are not working right but can still produce some saliva, your physician or dentist might give you a medicine that helps the glands work better
  • Your physician or dentist might suggest that you use artificial saliva to keep your mouth wet
What can I do?
  • Sip water or sugarless drinks often
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas. Caffeine can dry out the mouth
  • Sip water or a sugarless drink during meals. This will make chewing and swallowing easier. It may also improve the taste of food
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavored candies are good choices
  • Don't use tobacco or alcohol. They dry out the mouth
  • Be aware that spicy or salty foods may cause pain in a dry mouth
  • Use a humidifier at night
Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
Remember, if you have dry mouth, you need to be extra careful to keep your teeth healthy. Make sure you:
  • Gently brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth every day
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride in it. Most toothpastes sold at grocery and drug stores have fluoride in them
  • Avoid sticky, sugary foods. If you do eat them, brush immediately afterwards
  • Visit your dentist for a check-up at least twice a year. Your dentist might give you a special fluoride solution that you can rinse with to help keep your teeth healthy
Article Source: Colgate


If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?


Jennifer Flach was a college junior when her wisdom teeth started making themselves known.
"My other teeth started moving around," she remembers. "The wisdom teeth were pushing out and undoing some of the orthodontic work I had done in high school."
At the same time, her brother — who's two years younger and was also in college — had no symptoms. But the family dentist suggested his wisdom teeth should come out too.
Jen and her brother had back-to-back wisdom tooth extractions and recovered together at home during spring break. "It was quite a week at my parents' house," she says.
Patrick Grother was 26 when his dentist mentioned that his wisdom teeth might need to be removed. His bottom left wisdom tooth had partially erupted into his mouth and a flap of gum still covered it. "The dentist said food would get trapped there and it could get infected," he says. Patrick then visited a periodontist, who said that the gum flap could be cut away but it would grow back.
"I put it off for awhile," Patrick said, but he eventually had the wisdom teeth on the left side of his mouth extracted.
A few people are born without wisdom teeth or have room in their mouths for them, but like Jen and her brother, many of us get our wisdom teeth taken out during our college years. And like Patrick, many of us are first alerted to the problem when our wisdom teeth don't emerge (erupt) into the mouth properly because there is not enough toom for them to fit.
"A part of the tooth may remain covered by a flap of gum, where food particles and bacteria can get trapped, causing a mild irritation, a low-grade infection called pericoronitis and swelling," says Dr. Donald Sadowsky, professor emeritus of clinical dentistry College of Dental Medicine and the Mailman School of Public Health. This usually happens with the lower wisdom teeth. Pericoronitis and the pain it causes is the most common reason people need their wisdom teeth taken out.
Pericoronitis is just one of the reasons that you may need to have a wisdom tooth or more than one removed.
In many people, the wisdom teeth never even partially enter the mouth. Often the teeth are tilted under the gum and blocked from coming in by bone or other teeth. Dentists call these impacted teeth; they may cause pain, but you may feel nothing at all for years. You may not even be aware that you have wisdom teeth until your dentist sees them on an X-ray.
Regular dental visits are important during your teens and early twenties because this is the time when teeth are most likely to decay. Regular visits allow your dentist to follow the progress of your wisdom teeth with X-rays.
Even if your wisdom teeth aren't causing any pain or other problems, they may cause problems at some point. The most common problems are decay, infection, and crowding or damage to other teeth. But more serious complications can occur, including the development of a cyst that can cause permanent damage to bone, teeth and nerves.
However, not all wisdom teeth need to be removed.
If removing wisdom teeth is necessary, it's easier in younger people because the tooth roots are not fully developed and the bone in which the teeth sit is less dense. Extracting your wisdom teeth before any complications develop also allows for shorter recovery time and less discomfort after the surgery.
Article Source: Colgate

If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cracked Tooth Syndrome



What Is It?
Unlike teeth with obvious fractures, teeth with cracked tooth syndrome usually have fractures that are too small to be seen on X-rays. Sometimes the fracture is below the gum line, making it even more difficult to identify.
Cracked tooth syndrome more often occurs in molars, usually lower molars, which absorb most of the forces of chewing.
People who grind or clench their teeth may be more susceptible to cracked tooth syndrome because of the constant forces put on their teeth. Sometimes a person's normal bite causes certain molar cusps (the highest points of the tooth) to exert so much pressure on the opposing tooth that it cracks.
Teeth with large fillings or teeth that have undergone root canal treatment are weaker than other teeth and may be more likely to crack. People with one cracked tooth are more likely to have others, either at the same time or in the future.

Symptoms

You may experience pain in the tooth when you bite or chew. However, it probably will not happen all the time. The tooth may be painful only when you eat certain foods or when you bite in a specific way. You will not feel a constant ache, as you would if you had a cavity or abscess, but the tooth may be more sensitive to cold temperatures. If the crack worsens, the tooth may become loose.
Many people with cracked tooth syndrome have symptoms for months, but it's often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are not consistent.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cracked tooth syndrome is often difficult. Your dentist will do a thorough examination of your mouth and teeth, focusing on the tooth in question. He or she may use a sharp instrument called an explorer to feel for cracks in the tooth and will inspect the gums around the tooth for irregularities. Your dentist also may take X-rays, although X-rays often do not show the crack.
Your dentist may use a special instrument to test the tooth for fractures. One instrument looks like a toothbrush without bristles that fits over one part of the tooth at a time as you bite down. If you feel pain, the cusp being tested most likely has a crack affecting it.
Your dentist may shine a fiber-optic light on the tooth or stain it with a special dye to search for a crack. If the tooth already has a filling or crown, your dentist may remove it so he or she can better inspect the tooth.

Expected Duration

How long symptoms last depends somewhat on how quickly a cracked tooth can be diagnosed. Even then, treatment may not always completely relieve the symptoms.

Prevention

If you grind or clench your teeth, talk to your dentist about treatment. Grinding can increase your risk of cracked tooth syndrome.

Treatment

Treatments for cracked tooth syndrome do not always completely relieve the symptoms.
Treatment depends on the location, direction and extent of the crack. Cracks vary from superficial ones in the outer layers of the tooth to deep splits in the root affecting the pulp (the center of the tooth, which contains the tooth's nerves).
If the crack affects one or more cusps of a tooth, the tooth may be restored with a crown. If a crack affects the pulp, you probably will need root canal treatment. About 20% of teeth with cracked tooth syndrome require root canals. After a root canal, the tooth will no longer be sensitive to temperature, but it still will respond to pressure. This means that if you felt pain when you bit down before the root canal, you probably will not feel it as intensely as before, but you may feel it from time to time.
In some severe cases, the tooth may need to be extracted. Some cracks extend into the root of the tooth under the bone and there's no way to fix the tooth. If your dentist decides the tooth needs to be extracted, you can have it replaced with an implant or a bridge.

When To Call a Professional

If you experience pain upon biting or chewing, contact your dental office.

Prognosis

Treatment of cracked tooth syndrome is not always successful. Your dentist should inform you about the prognosis. In some people, a restoration with a crown will relieve all symptoms. In others, root canal treatment solves the problem. Some people continue to have occasional symptoms after treatment, and may need to have the tooth extracted.
Article Source: Colgate


If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What is an Apicoectomy?


What Is It?

Your teeth are held in place by roots that extend into your jawbone. Front teeth usually have one root. Other teeth, such as your premolars and molars, have two or more roots. The tip of each root is called the apex. Nerves and blood vessels enter the tooth through the apex, travel through a canal inside the root, and into the pulp chamber, which is inside the crown (the part of the tooth visible in the mouth).
An apicoectomy may be needed when an infection develops or persists after root canal treatment, or retreatment. During root canal treatment, the canals are cleaned, and inflamed or infected tissue is removed. Root canals are very complex, with many small branches off the main canal. Sometimes, even after root canal treatment, infected debris can remain in these branches and possibly prevent healing or cause re-infection later. In an apicoectomy, the root tip, or apex, is removed along with the infected tissue. A filling is then placed to seal the end of the root.
An apicoectomy is sometimes called endodontic microsurgery because the procedure is done under an operating microscope.

What It's Used For

If a root canal becomes infected again after a root canal has been done, it's often because of a problem near the apex of the root. Your dentist can do an apicoectomy to fix the problem so the tooth doesn't need to be extracted. An apicoectomy is done only after a tooth has had at least one root canal procedure.
In many cases, a second root canal treatment is considered before an apicoectomy. With advances in technology, dentists often can detect additional canals that were not adequately treated and can clear up the infection by doing a second root canal procedure, thus avoiding the need for an apicoectomy.
An apicoectomy is not the same as a root resection. In a root resection, an entire root is removed, rather than just the tip.

Preparation

Before the procedure, you will have a consultation with your dentist. Your general dentist can do the apicoectomy, but, with the advances in endodontic microsurgery, it is best to be referred to an endodontist.
Your dentist may take X-raysand you may be given an antimicrobial mouth rinse, anti-inflammatory medication and/or antibiotics before the surgery.
If you have high blood pressure or know that you have problems with the epinephrine in local anesthetics, let your dentist know at the consultation. The local anesthetic used for an apicoectomy has about twice as much epinephrine (similar to adrenaline) as the anesthetics used when you get a filling. The extra epinephrine constricts your blood vessels to reduce bleeding near the surgical site so the endodontist can see the root. You may feel your heart rate speed up after you receive the local anesthetic, but this will subside after a few minutes.

How It's Done

The endodontist will cut and lift the gum away from the tooth so the root is easily accessible. The infected tissue will be removed along with the last few millimeters of the root tip. He or she will use a dye that highlights cracks and fractures in the tooth. If the tooth is cracked or fractured, it may have to be extracted, and the apicoectomy will not continue.
To complete the apicoectomy, 3 to 4 millimeters of the tooth's canal are cleaned and sealed. The cleaning usually is done under a microscope using ultrasonic instruments. Use of a surgical microscope increases the chances for success because the light and magnification allow the endodontist to see the area better. Your endodontist then will take an X-ray of the area before suturing the tissue back in place.
Most apicoectomies take between 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the location of the tooth and the complexity of the root structure. Procedures on front teeth are generally the shortest. Those on lower molars generally take the longest.

Follow-Up

You will receive instructions from your endodontist about which medications to take and what you can eat or drink. You should ice the area for 10 to 12 hours after the surgery, and rest during that time.
The area may bruise and swell. It may be more swollen the second day after the procedure than the first day. Any pain usually can be controlled with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofem (Advil, Motrin and others) or prescription medication.
To allow for healing, you should avoid brushing the area, rinsing vigorously, smoking or eating crunchy or hard foods. Do not lift your lip to examine the area, because this can disrupt blood-clot formation and loosen the sutures.
You may have some numbness in the area for days or weeks from the trauma of the surgery. This does not mean that nerves have been damaged. Tell your dentist about any numbness you experience.
Your stitches will be removed 2 to 7 days after the procedure, and all soreness and swelling are usually gone by 14 days after the procedure.
Even though an apicoectomy is considered surgery, many people say that recovering from an apicoectomy is easier than recovering from the original root-canal treatment.

Risks

The endodontist will review the risks of the procedure at the consultation appointment. The main risk is that the surgery may not work and the tooth may need to be extracted.
Depending on where the tooth is located, there may be other risks. If the tooth is in the back of your upper jaw, the infection can involve your sinuses, and your dentist may suggest antibiotics and decongestants. The roots of the back teeth in the lower jaw are close to some major nerves, so surgery on one of these teeth carries a slight risk of nerve damage. However, your endodontist will use your X-rays to see how close the roots are to the nerves, and the chances of anything happening are extremely small.
An apicoectomy is usually a permanent solution, and should last for the life of the tooth.

When To Call a Professional

If you're having any pain or swelling from a tooth that has had root-canal treatment, contact your dentist, who will take X-rays and do an exam. If your dentist feels you need an apicoectomy, you will need to set up an appointment for a consultation.
Article Source: Colgate Video Source: YouTube

If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How To Use A Water Pik


Video Source: CheckDent via YouTube


If you are looking for a dentist in the South Bay, please do no hesitate to contact
South Bay Dental Solutions. We are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and provide all general and cosmetic dental services.

South Bay Dental Solutions
1213 Manhattan Avenue  
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5910

Follow us on Twitter: @mbteeth