Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What hit you in the mouth?

A Drive line.

For those of you not familiar with a drive line is, I will tell you.
When you are driving down the street and pass a really tall pickup truck, 
its that long cylindrical thingy that is spinning like crazy under the truck.
It is big, heavy, and made of metal. 

And here is what happens when you are laying underneath it
and it decides to fall.
Two very broken front teeth.
Not Good.
That black on the edge of one of the teeth is
actually drive line grease (yum).

BUT....... if you are lucky enough to have a dentist handy, who
knows how to deal with drive line tooth fractures, you could end up
looking like this.

The teeth will always be a tad weaker then they were before being
crushed by the spinny thingy but they will do much better then 
snaggle toothed alternative.

Monday, June 24, 2013

What a drain in the neck!

What a drain in the neck!  What is going on in this picture? 

Well I will tell you. The patient had a tooth that went bad. The tooth started to produce infection. The infection needed some place to go. Typically the infection will produce a bump (abscess) on the gums. In this case however the infection decided it would work its way out the bottom of his neck. What you are looking at is a small piece of rubber tubing that is stitched into and incision in the patient's neck. This is what is termed in the medical community as a drain. This drain is attempting to allow all of the infection in this mans mouth and neck come out. This is definitely a rare case but it can happen. Do NOT let things get out of hand with your teeth. 

Last thing you want is someone saying, "So what is that thing in your neck?"  

Monday, June 17, 2013

I think I see a little spot on my tooth. Should I go to the dentist?

If you ever look in your mouth and are able to SEE any color other then the white of your teeth you need to get it looked at.

It may just be stain or last nights dinner. But it could be a sign of something much more.

When a dentist looks at your teeth he/she uses color change as one of the indicators to take a closer look at any particular area.

The pictures below are a case that we did.
The patient came in with a little darkened area on one of his molars.

After we got done getting out all of the decay out he was as close as you would ever want to come to getting a root canal. Once the decay gets down into the tooth you are no longer able to get to it with your toothbrush, floss or mouthwash. The bacteria simply sets up shop in your tooth and start to multiply. The tooth was saved and things should be okay but the patient had to go through a lot more drilling then they bargained for.

Friday, June 14, 2013

My eye!!!

Everyone knows that having dry eyes are bad.
If its caused by hot dry weather, medication, allergies,
age, etc. its no fun when your eyes are dry.

And it seems as though people seem to have a pretty good handle 
on stopping their eyes from being dry.

People will take their allergy meds, or reach for over the counter
solutions to place directly into their eyes to moisten them.

But what about dry mouth?
It seems as though people do not realize what to do about
dry mouth or even know what causes it.

Dry mouth is bad. 
And it can be very bad.
Dry teeth are essentially dead teeth waiting to happen.
Saliva plays a huge roll in protecting your teeth from the 
effects of the bacteria that cause cavities.
Without the saliva (dry mouth) the teeth are sitting ducks for the 
effects of the bacteria.

The causes of Dry mouth are varied.
Age, medications, and genetics are all part of the equation.

And just like treating dry eyes there are things that can, 
and should be, done in relation to treating dry mouth.

First is to identify the cause.
If its medications then talk to the doctor that is putting you on those
meds and discuss other possible options and medications.

If it is age or genetics then there are steps you can take. 
First is to always carry a water bottle with you.
It is not the quantity of water you drink but the frequency 
with which you drink it.
Always keeping your mouth moist is key.

There are also several over the counter medications 
to assist people with dry mouth.
Toothpastes, mouthwashes, mouth sprays, etc, are all available.

Take home point here is that if you suffer from dry mouth
do not let things go too long before you address the situation.

Dry mouth, just like dry eyes, if left untreated can have very long lasting
and severe effects. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The trouble with braces.

If you are in braces right now, or have a family member that is in
braces right now then this is something you need to read.

One of the biggest problems we see with braces is the
amount of cavities that people have right after the braces are removed.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

#1 Is that braces trap food. 
There are lots of nooks and crannies where food can get trapped
and hide out even without having braces.
Once braces are placed the amount of food that can be trapped can triple.
Residual food hanging around in your mouth will feed cavity causing bacteria.

#2 Its harder to floss.
Trapping food is bad enough. But the fact that its even harder to get the 
food out because flossing is now much harder makes it even worse.

Tomorrow I will discuss some things that can be done about this.
But for now just know that those with braces must be more diligent 
then the average person when it comes to caring for your teeth
when you have braces on. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hole you see it, Hole you don't.

Sometimes a hole can be a very bad thing.
Sink Holes, Black Holes, etc. etc.
A hole in a tooth is no exception.
Unlike a sink hole or a black hole however, 
a hole in the tooth isn't quite so bad.

A patient came in today with this hole in their tooth.

Here they are after getting the hole filled. 

Hole you see it, Hole you don't.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Do I just have a cavity or do I need a Root Canal?

So your tooth hurts. 
But how do you know if its just a cavity that needs filling
or if it's progressed to something much more serious and 
needs to have a Root Canal Treatment preformed on it?

First thing is to determine when the tooth hurts.
Cavities typically hurt only on exposure to hot or cold temperature changes.

Teeth that need root canals will hurt on biting, hot, cold, and 
perhaps most importantly, they may start hurting for no reason at all.
If you are just reading a book and your tooth starts hurting, 
you may be in trouble.

Another indicator would be the presence of an abscess. 
An abscess is a little bump next to the tooth on the gums.
This is a sign that there may be infection and that a root canal 
may indeed be in your future.

These are all general guidelines.
No matter what, if you feel any discomfort in your teeth you should
seek professional advice as soon as possible.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Multiple implant case completed.

Here is a wonderful case to show the versatility of implants. 
This patient had a bridge that was failing. 
The front tooth of the bridge needed to be extracted. 
The back tooth of the bridge was not sufficiently strong enough to support a longer bridge.

The bridge was removed along with the front tooth. 
2 implants were placed and healing time was allowed.
After things healed then the final crowns were put on and things turned out great.

Teeth out and implants in.

X-ray of Double Implant
Final pictures with teeth in place.

Dr. Jim Ellis, DDS 

1220 33rd Street Suite C 
Ogden, UT 84403 
(801) 783-3490