Posts for category: Oral Health
Have one or multiple teeth gone missing? Are gaps in your smile affecting your bite, ability to chew, or causing you to hide your smile entirely? If so, it might be time to consider dental implants, a permanent, secure solution that (literally) implants a titanium screw into the jawbone to support a dental crown, bridge, or denture. Dental implants are designed to preserve and stimulate bone growth. They offer unique benefits that our dentists, Drs. Salem, Gionfriddo, Khorashadi and Lann, are happy to discuss during your visit to our Braintree, MA, office.
The Unique Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants replace one or several teeth, but they can also makeover your entire smile when each tooth is no longer sustainable. Our Braintree, MA, patients select these restorations because they have a high success rate, improve oral health, function like natural teeth, and deliver a natural-looking appearance. Dental implants are also a popular choice because healing time takes anywhere from eight and 16 weeks, and self-confidence increases once they're applied. However, some of the unique benefits include preventing deterioration of the jawbone, reducing facial sagging and bone loss, and preserving natural bone growth. Not everyone is eligible for the procedure. To determine if you're a candidate, our dentist will perform a thorough examination of the teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues during your initial visit. Once approved, he'll discuss the surgery in detail and assure you feel as comfortable as possible moving forward.
If you'd like to explore the unique benefits of dental implants, schedule a consultation with our dentist to address any questions or concerns. Begin your journey to a bigger smile, and a boost of confidence, sooner instead of later. For more information about dental implants, and other services provided by Drs. Salem, Gionfriddo, Khorashadi and Lann, visit our website. Please call (781) 843-0660 for appointment scheduling in our Braintree, MA, office.
If a breath of crisp winter air makes you say, “Ouch!” you're not alone. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, one of every eight people suffers from tooth sensitivity. And for those individuals, winter can be a particularly challenging time of year.
Tooth sensitivity can result when the inner part of the tooth, called dentin, is exposed. Dentin is normally protected by enamel above the gum line and cementum below, but if the protective coating is lost, then temperature, pressure and acid from food and drinks can activate the nerves inside the tooth.
If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, these tips may help:
Avoid acidic foods and beverages. It may be common sense to stay away from foods and drinks that are hot or cold enough to make you wince, but also avoid those that are acidic, as acid can erode tooth enamel and increase tooth sensitivity.
Wait an hour to brush your teeth. After consuming acidic food or beverages, give your saliva time to neutralize the acid and strengthen the enamel surface to prevent erosion.
Brush gently. Gums can recede due to over-aggressive brushing, exposing sensitive tooth roots. So brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and rinse with lukewarm water.
Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Toothpaste that is specially formulated for sensitive teeth blocks the pores in the tooth's surface where sensitivity can occur. It may also to help to rub the toothpaste on sensitive areas.
Sometimes, however, sensitive teeth result from dental problems that need professional treatment in the form of an at-home prescription, an in-office treatment like bonding or sealants, or a procedure like a gum graft or root canal. Accordingly, here's the most important tip of all:
Schedule a dental appointment. In an exam, we can look for the cause of your tooth sensitivity so it can be treated properly. Sensitivity may result from receding gums, tooth decay, erosion of the enamel, or other dental problems, such as the following:
- Tooth-grinding. If we detect signs of a nighttime tooth grinding habit that you may not even be aware of, we may recommend a nightguard to wear while sleeping.
- A root infection. If your tooth remains sensitive 30 seconds after eating or drinking something hot or cold, the pulp inside your tooth may be damaged. You may need root canal therapy to remove the infection and stop it from spreading.
- A cracked tooth. A crack in a tooth may not be visible due to its size or location, but a compromised tooth surface can cause sensitivity and could lead to bigger problems if not treated.
Don't let tooth sensitivity get you down this winter. Come see us so we can discuss the right treatment for you.
If you're intrigued by the strange and bizarre, here's one to pique your interest: geographic tongue. It's a rare condition that causes the appearance of red patches on the tongue surface, surrounded by grayish-white borders, and which look a lot like continents on a map (hence the name). But although it may look odd, geographic tongue won't harm your health.
The condition is also known as benign migratory glossitis, so named because it's not cancerous and the patches seem to move or “migrate” around the tongue surface. The most common causes are thought to be stress or hormonal disruptions in those predisposed to the condition. Many researchers believe zinc or vitamin B deficiencies in the body contribute to its occurrence. It also seems more prevalent among non-smokers and pregnant women, as well as occurring as a family trait.
The red patches are created by the temporary disappearance of some of the papillae, tiny bumps on the tongue's top surface. The patches can abruptly appear during a flareup and then disappear just as suddenly. But as “angry” as the patches may look, geographic tongue is not considered a health danger. It isn't normally painful, although people can experience stinging or numbing sensations emanating from the patches that can be mildly uncomfortable.
Because it's also rare, you're not likely to encounter it personally. But if you or a loved one does begin to notice red patches on the tongue, there are a few things you can do to lessen any accompanying irritation. For one, cut out foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, eggplant, mint or highly spicy or acidic foods, all of which have been known to increase discomfort. You might also avoid astringents like alcohol or mouthwashes that likewise irritate the patches when they occur.
Although geographic tongue can't be cured, your dentist can help you manage symptoms when they arise with the help of prescribed anesthetic mouthwashes, antihistamines or steroid lozenges. These not only can help lower any discomfort or irritations, they may also lessen the duration of a flareup.
For the most part, geographic tongue usually causes more embarrassment than physical discomfort. But with a little help from your dentist, you can keep it to a minimum. Geographic tongue may be odd, but it's nothing to worry about.
If you would like more information on geographic tongue, 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 “Geographic Tongue: No Cause For Alarm.”
At Dr. George Salem and Associates in Braintree, MA, we take pride in our patients' good oral health. Of course, sudden problems can still occur--a toothache, as a prime example. Here's how our dentists--Drs. Salem, Gionfriddo, Kacewics, and Lann--handle dental pain and get you feeling better.
What causes a toothache?
First of all, understand that you cannot ignore tooth pain of any kind cannot. It signals that something is wrong, and your dentist must diagnose the problem and treat it. Your oral and systemic health depends on it.
At Dr. George Salem and Associates, we provide a full complement of diagnostic and restorative services. From digital X-ray imaging and intra-oral cameras to microscopes for root canal treatment, dental implants, and white fillings, we uncover the reasons for your toothache and take steps to correct it.
The reasons for toothache pain include:
- Dental sensitivity to sugar, heat, and cold
- Dental decay
- Deteriorating fillings
- Dental abscess (an infection within the tooth itself)
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Oral injury from a fall, car accident, or sports mishap
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Poor dental bite
- Bruxism, or habitual teeth clenching and grinding
- Jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ/TMD)
How we can help
To restore your aching tooth to full function and aesthetics, Dr. Salem may recommend one of the following restorative services. Fortunately, our practice features a staff periodontist, orthodontist, and the latest in endodontic therapy. They handle most any toothache problem in-house without having to refer to an outside specialist.
Our restorative services include:
- White fillings for the perfect repair of dental decay
- Root canal therapy to heal the dental abscess
- Porcelain crowns to shore up fractured and deeply decayed teeth
- Dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Gum disease treatment
Of course, if your tooth is hopelessly damaged, our dentists perform simple and surgical extractions as well as socket preservation for dental implant placement.
Call us about that toothache
When you have a toothache, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain, and ice your face as needed. Then, contact Dr. George Salem and Associates in Braintree, MA. Our dentists will address the problem promptly and do all they can to preserve your natural tooth structure. To see Dr. Salem, Dr. Lann, Dr. Kacewicz, or Dr. Gionfroddo, call us at (781) 843-0660.
When you were a kid, a plate of green beans or carrots probably seemed less appealing than a handful of cookies or a bowl of ice cream. Mom or dad telling you to “eat your vegetables” was the last thing you wanted to hear.
Hopefully, you've made friends with fresh fruits and vegetables as you've grown up. But even if you're just acquaintances, these foods are nonetheless essential to good health, particularly your teeth and gums. Among other things, they're packed with vitamins and minerals that help prevent tooth decay, gum disease or even oral cancer.
Here's a sampling of dental health-boosting micronutrients and the foods you'll find them in.
Vitamin C. Found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, vitamin C boosts the immune system to fight infections like tooth decay or gum disease. It's also an antioxidant that lowers your risk of cancer.
Calcium. This mineral obtained through dairy products, bony fish, greens and legumes, strengthens teeth and bones. It can also improve nerve and muscle function.
Vitamin D. This vitamin helps teeth absorb calcium to make them less prone to decay. You can find this essential vitamin in dairy foods, eggs, fatty fish or sunlight.
Phosphorus. Like calcium, phosphorus also strengthens teeth and bones. You'll find it plentiful in dairy and meats, especially seafood and poultry.
Magnesium. This mineral helps teeth and bones absorb other minerals and can also help with enzyme function needed to avoid disease. You'll find it in nuts, legumes, whole grains, dark leafy greens, seafood and chocolate.
If you don't think you're getting enough of these and other nutrients, you can obtain them through dietary supplements. But do be careful: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can remove harmful supplements from the market, but only after consumer use has provided evidence that they're unsafe. And, you won't be getting fiber or other elements found in regular foods that your body needs to be healthy and function properly.
Still, if you think you need to supplement a nutritional deficiency, speak first with your doctor or dentist about it and what you should take. If at all possible, though, eat your veggies—your teeth and gums, as well as the rest of your body, will be the healthier for it.
If you would like more information on nutrition's role in dental health, 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 “Vitamins & Dietary Supplements.”