Cosmetic bonding is a safe and easy fix for smile restoration to repair chipped, cracked or broken teeth, fill in spacing gaps or adjust tooth discoloration. It is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can be done during a regular visit. Request an appointment to find out if cosmetic bonding could help fix your smile!
Archive: September 2015
Canker sores and cold sores are the same thing, right? Not at all! They are quite different in both where they appear and if they are transmittable. While not necessarily the most pleasant topic, it’s important to know the difference and be aware of treatment options.
Canker sores [apthous ulcers] are found inside the mouth on the tongue, cheeks, gums, or floor of the mouth. They are not “contagious” and cannot be transmitted from one individual to another.
Cold sores are only found outside the mouth, usually on the lips. However, they can also occur on the chin, nostrils, or outside of the cheek. Typically cold sores start as a red blister that bursts and crusts over, with a 7-14 day cycle to heal. They are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus, whichmost people carry but stays dormant most of the time. Cold Sores are contagious, transmitted by direct contact. This type of viral sore most often occurs in adolescents and young adults, declining in individuals over 35. Outbreaks can be prompted by stress, fevers, colds and sunburn.
To minimize exposure, don’t touch or irritate the blister, wash your hands before touching others, and avoid kissing when the blisters are visible. You should also use sunscreen on your lips if spending time outside. Avoid hot or spicy foods that will irritate the sores. Treatment includes applying phenol-containing ointments, which can be purchased over-the-counter. There are also anti-viral antibiotics that can shorten the healing cycle, but cannot prevent an outbreak.
Canker sores inside the mouth often begin as small red circular bumps that rupture, or ulcerate. These sores typically become white and are surrounded by red swelling, which as an open sore, can be quite painful to the touch. The healing cycle can last 8-10 days.
About 20% of the population is affected by canker sores and there is no identified cause. They may appear more often in stressful situations, or follow from cuts or abrasions in the mouth. Highly acidic foods such as citrus and tomatoes can also irritate the skin or mucous membrane, resulting in canker sores. Canker sores are usually first seen between the ages of 10-20, although it is possible in younger children. It’s not uncommon for them to occur 3-4 times a year, but typically becomes less frequent or stops all together in adulthood.
You can treat canker sores by applying an ointment that contains a topical anesthetic to relieve the pain. You should also avoid foods that have a rough texture, or hot or spicy foods that can irritate the sore. Try not to touch them with your toothbrush or eating utensils.
And as with all things concerning oral and dental health, call our office for more recommendations!
Most of us care about healthy teeth and a whiter smile, but do we really pay attention to our gums? It turns out that keeping gums in shape is not only important to our smile, but to our overall health as well. Studies now find that periodontal infections, otherwise known as gum disease or gingivitis, may contribute to the risk of heart disease, the nation’s top fatality. Untreated periodontal disease can pose a serious threat to those whose health may already be compromised by respiratory disease or diabetes.
How do gums relate to the heart? For healthy hearts, gums only matter in terms of helping you stay healthy and eat right. But if you have a weakened heart valve, such as mitral valve prolapse or aortic stenosis, keeping your gums clean is critical because bacteria from your mouth can work its way into your circulatory system. Patients with these conditions should contact their dentist ahead of treatments, as it may be suggested to pre-medicated with antibiotics before receiving dental care to avoid any infection from cleanings or gum abscesses.
Studies show that individuals with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without. Diseased gums release considerably higher levels of bacteria, such as pro-inflammatory endotoxins, into the bloodstream. This bacteria circulating in the blood stream may also impact coronary arteries, which can thicken with the build-up of fatty proteins. Blood clots can form in the narrowed arteries and obstruct normal blood flow, depleting the heart of oxygen and important nutrients. Mouth bacteria can cling to the fatty proteins, furthering the risks of blood clots.
It is especially important for diabetics to pay attention to the risk of gum disease, as they are more prone to more infections and slower to heal. Studies have shown that gum disease may make a diabetic condition worse, and that diabetics may require less insulin once they’ve been treated for periodontal disease.
Healthy smiles, as well as healthy implants, require healthy gums. Contact us today for an examination and to learn how to better care for your gums – all leading to healthy smiles for life!