Posts for: September, 2016
If you're one of over 30% of Americans who wince in pain when eating and drinking certain foods and beverages, you may have tooth sensitivity. Although there are a number of possible causes, the most common place to look first is tooth dentin.
Lying just under the enamel, dentin consists of tiny tubules that transmit sensations like pressure or temperature variation to the nerves of the inner pulp. The enamel, the gums and a covering on the roots called cementum help dampen these sensations.
But over-aggressive brushing or periodontal (gum) disease can cause the gums to shrink back (recede) and expose the dentin below the gum line; it can also cause cementum to erode from the roots. This exposure amplifies sensations to the nerves. Now when you eat or drink something hot or cold or simply bite down, the nerves inside the dentin receive the full brunt of the sensation and signal pain.
Enamel erosion can also expose dentin, caused by mouth acid in contact with the enamel for prolonged periods. Acid softens the minerals in enamel, which then dissolve (resorb) into the body. Acid is a byproduct of bacteria which live in dental plaque, a thin film of food particles that builds up on teeth due to poor oral hygiene. Mouth acid may also increase from gastric reflux or consuming acidic foods or beverages.
Once we pinpoint the cause of your tooth sensitivity we can begin proper treatment, first and foremost for any disease that's a factor. If you have gum disease, we focus on removing bacterial plaque (the cause for the infection) from all tooth and gum surfaces. This helps stop gum recession, but advanced cases may require grafting surgery to cover the root surfaces.
You may also benefit from other measures to reduce sensitivity:Â applying less pressure when you brush; using hygiene products like toothpastes that block sensations to the dentin tubules or slow nerve action; and receiving additional fluoride to strengthen enamel.
There are effective ways to reduce your tooth sensitivity. Determining which to use in your case will depend on the cause.
If you would like more information on tooth sensitivity, 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 “Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity: Understanding Your Options.”
Find out which whitening option is the best one for getting your smile brighter.
When it comes to getting a whiter smile we know you have options. Of course, our Sacramento cosmetic dentists Drs. Jeff and Shaina DiMariano can easily improve the color of your smile and remove surface stains with our in-office whitening system. But is this the right choice for you or are there other options out there that might be better suited to your needs?
Types of Stains
There are two types of dental stains: external and internal. External stains tend to be the most common. If you love your evening glass of wine or your morning cup of Joe, then you can expect that your external stains are coming from some of the foods and drinks you consume. External stains can also be the after effects of consuming tobacco or can occur as we age.
Internal stains, on the other hand, are caused by excessive fluoride use, certain medications or trauma to the tooth. These stains don’t often respond as well to whitening treatment.
When you opt for teeth whitening in Sacramento you have several options:
- OTC whitening kits and products
- Our at-home whitening system
- In-office whitening system
Which whitening system you choose will depend on the severity of your stains, among other factors. Over-the-counter whitening kits won’t give you instant or significant results. You’ll have to use these products every day for several weeks to see a difference. But if you are just looking to brighten up an otherwise healthy-looking smile and you are on a tight budget, these products might work for you.
If you have a big event coming up and you want to get your smile several shades whiter in a short amount of time then ditch the at-home whitening products and opt for in-office teeth whitening. This system can get your smile visibly brighter in just one whitening session (which takes about an hour to complete).
For patient looking to save a little money on their cosmetic dentistry and aren’t in a rush for a whiter smile, our at-home whitening system might give you the results you want. This system is stronger than any whitening kit you’ll find at your local drugstore, but it may take a couple weeks to see results. This whitening system is tailored to your specific needs and trays are custom-made to fit your mouth for even whitening that you won’t get with commercial whitening trays.
The only way to truly find out which whitening option is the best one for you is to schedule a cosmetic consultation at our Sacramento dental office. Teeth whitening can be an easy and wonderful way to get the more radiant smile you’ve always wanted, so why wait?
Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.
“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into caviÂties. How did this happen?
Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.
While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.Â Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.
This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”
Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:
- Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
- Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
- Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.
Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.
“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”
If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”