Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What are Dry Sockets?

The term Dry Socket is one of the most feared, 
and most misunderstood, in the field of dentistry.

Whenever teeth, of any kind and not just wisdom teeth, 
are removed there is the chance for dry socket.

But what is dry socket?

Dry socket is very simple to understand.
After a tooth is pulled out of the jaw
 the surrounding tissues will begin to bleed.
This is a very good thing.
The blood will fill the socket, where the tooth used to be, 
and a blood clot will begin to form.

A blood clot in a socket is kind of like a scab over a cut.
It serves to protect the injured areas until healing can complete.

A dry socket will occur when, for whatever reason, 
the blood clot comes out of the socket prematurely.
If the blood clot comes out then the bone of the socket
will dry out. Thus, Dry Socket.

That's it. 
Just like a scab being removed prematurely will reveal tissues
that are not ready to be exposed to the outside environment, 
so to a blood clot being removed prematurely from a socket
will reveal tissues that are also not ready to exposure to outside forces.

When the clot comes out the tissues that are exposed
are boney tissues.
Dry boney tissues, dry socket, are very painful
and certain steps should be taken by both Dr
and patient to avoid them.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I know you said my tooth would brake....... BUT?

Okay your dentist just told you that your tooth is cracked.
He/She just told you that you need a crown.
Your first question is, "How long can I wait to get this crown"?

Well, here is the answer.

It totally depends.
Cracks are produced, and continue to move, due to pressure
exerted on the teeth. Remove the pressure and the crack stops.
Sounds easy, right?
Its not.

Pressure on teeth can come from chewing, grinding, clenching,
biting tags off clothes, etc etc.
Therefore, if you stop chewing (all liquid diet), grinding, clenching,
and never again use your teeth to bite fishing line in half
 then, and only then, that crack will stop moving.

Bottom line is this, get your teeth fixed as soon as possible.
Financing the work is always a factor and maybe it can't get done right away.
Just know that the dentist has no way of predicting when and where you tooth will break.

If your dentist tells you you have a crack just be very careful.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Does Your Jaw Click or Pop?

Does your jaw pop or click?

TMJ is the abbreviation for Temporal Mandibular Joint. It is the joint directly in front of your ear that is used by your body to open and close your mouth. It is, like most other joints in your body, made up of cartilage, fluid, bones, and muscles.. And just like any other joint in the body any piece to this puzzle can deteriorate, get misplaced, damaged, or have any other number of problems.
If any sort of damage does occur then pain, clicking, popping may result.
If you have had any of the above symptoms the best thing to do
is to see your dentist right away.
He/she needs to determine what is the cause of your TMJ discomfort and
what, if anything, can be done to solve the problem.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Nothing lasts forever.

Nothing lasts forever. 
I have had lasik surgery and can now see 20/20.
I know however, that at some point the lasik will need to be re-done.

Get a knee, hip, or any other part of your body replaced and the 
surgeon will likely tell you how long you probably have till the 
prosthetic piece, or your body around the piece, goes bad.

Fillings in teeth are no exception. 
They have a certain life span and then the need to be replaced.

Here is an old metal filling. 

Here is the new white filling.
This will not last forever either, but it it will function far better
then the old cracking metal that used to be there.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Meth Mouth

There is a drug out there known as Meth.
Its not good for a whole boat load of reasons.
But seeing as how I am a dentist I will focus on the dental problems.

The first problem is that Meth causes your salivary glands to stop producing saliva.
This may not seem like a big thing, but it is.
Just imagine if your tear ducts stopped producing tears.
Your eyes would dry out in a big hurry.
Dry eyes would be painful and damage would begin to occur.
Same thing with teeth.
Dry teeth will end up being painful and damaged teeth.

(Early meth use)

The next problem is that Meth will make a person grind their teeth.
Scientists really aren't sure why but they have seen it enough to know that it happens.
Grinding of brittle dry teeth will cause fractures to begin happening.

(Moderate Meth use)

Finally Meth will cause people to just not care anymore.
And when you really don't care about your teeth you really don't
take care of them and you really don't care eat of drink anymore either.

The black spots on the gums are what's left of the teeth.
They have either rotted, been broken down to, the gums.

(Severe Meth use)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Teeth is a day.

"Painless tooth replacement"
"Teeth in a day"
"One appointment smile"

We have all heard these claims and typically they are accompanied by promises that the doctor can,
almost magically, take out all of your teeth, put implants in, and place crowns on the teeth
with little to no pain, in just one day.
They may even show the patient biting into an apple right after the procedure.

In very rare and unique circumstances this MAY be the case. But for the other 99.7% of us, its not.
Anytime you have surgery of ANY kind you need to heal.
The picture below shows a site where a tooth was recently extracted.
This site will be very tender for several days while the body heals.
That's just the way it works. Blood will rush to the site of any injury thus
creating inflammation (swelling) and moderate discomfort.

If implants are placed that too will cause some type of discomfort.

To say that teeth can be extracted and implants placed and that you can begin
eating right away with no pain whatsoever is just not true. What is typically
happening is that these people are trying to suck you in and then sell you on something else.

Simply do lots and lots of homework before letting these places touch your mouth.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

When, if ever, should my kid see an orthodontist?

When Should my Child See an Orthodontist?

Child's crowded teethThis is a great question. Most parents hope that the answer to this question is… never. Braces can be an expensive process. And if you have multiple children that need braces, the financial outlay can become burdensome. So, most parents hope that their child is one of the lucky ones whose teeth simply come in straight and won’t ever need to be straightened.
Well, how do you know? How do you know when, or even if, your child needs to go to the orthodontist? Here is some information that may help. This chart Problems to Watch for in Growing Children July 2012 (PDF) indicates some of the things to look for in your child’s oral development to assist in knowing if an appointment with an orthodontist is wise. These are not all of the issues out there, but it’s a very good sampling of what can go wrong.
As a general dentist, I can say that the use of an Orthodontic Specialist can be critical in the health of your child’s teeth. Teeth that are crowded are much harder to keep clean then teeth that are not crowded. A child’s speech development can be negatively affected by severe open bites. And, the list can go on and on. Making sure that your child’s teeth are straight is more than just about good looks. There is a very large functional component that is involved that must be considered.
Getting to an orthodontist is as easy as can be. You do not even need to have a referral from a general dentist. You can simply call an orthodontist and schedule an evaluation for your child. If you would prefer to have a referral simply visit your dentist and ask for a quick evaluation to see what they think.