Are Dental Caries causing my tooth ache? What causes Cavities?

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Dental caries (tooth decay) is a major oral health problem in most industrialised countries, affecting 60–90% of schoolchildren and the vast majority of adults.

The early manifestation of the caries process is a small patch of demineralised (softened) enamel at the tooth surface, often hidden from sight in the fissures (grooves) of teeth or in between the teeth. The destruction spreads into the softer, sensitive part of the tooth beneath the enamel (dentine). The weakened enamel then collapses to form a cavity and the tooth is progressively destroyed. Caries can also attack the roots of teeth should they become exposed by gum recession. This is more common in older adults.

Dental caries is caused by the action of acids on the enamel surface. The acid is produced when sugars (mainly sucrose) in foods or drinks react with bacteria present in the dental biofilm (plaque) on the tooth surface. The acid produced leads to a loss of calcium and phosphate from the enamel; this process is called demineralisation.

Saliva acts to dilute and neutralise the acid which causes demineralisation and is an important natural defence against caries. Aside from buffering plaque acids and halting the demineralisation of enamel, saliva provides a reservoir of minerals adjacent to the enamel from which it can remineralise and “heal” once the acids have been neutralised. The enamel demineralises and remineralises many times during the course of a day. It is when this balance is upset and demineralisation exceeds remineralisation that caries progresses. When demineralisation occurs frequently and exceeds remineralisation over many months, there is a breakdown of the enamel surface leading to a cavity. Cavities, even in children who do not yet have their permanent teeth, can have serious and lasting complications such as pain, tooth abscess, tooth loss, broken teeth, chewing problems and serious infection.

The main treatment option for a tooth cavity is to drill out the decay and put in a filling (restoration) made from various materials (e.g., composite resins, amalgam, porcelain).Extensive tooth decay may necessitate a crown, root canal treatment or even extraction of the tooth.

How do I prevent Cavities?

How do I prevent Cavities?

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You may have heard of the clichéd phrase – prevention is better than a cure.   That is certainly true in the case of cavities!

 

There are a variety of ways to help prevent cavities which include:

  • Brushing and flossing daily; this will help reduce the amount of dental plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
  • Eating sugary or starchy foods less often during the day to help reduce the amount of tooth-damaging acids in your mouth.
  • Use of fluoride toothpaste, which strengthens teeth, as well as fluoride treatments provided by the dentist or taking fluoride supplements as recommended by the dentist.
  • Using antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce the levels of bacteria that cause cavities.
  • Chewing gum that contains xylitol; this can help decrease bacterial growth.

 

Preventing cavities can not only help keep your teeth healthy and beautiful for a lifetime but also prevent emergency dental care and tooth aches and save you money!

I have tooth pain. Could that be due to Cavities?

 

 

 

 

We get this question many times from patients who come in with tooth pain and wonder if they have Cavities.   Tooth pain can be caused by several reasons and tooth caries or cavities is one common cause of tooth ache.

Cavities refer to tooth decay, which occurs when specific types of bacteria produce acid that destroys the tooth’s enamel and its underlying layer, the dentin.

Three possible indications that you have a cavity are toothache, tooth sensitivity to sweet, hot or cold foods or drinks, or pain when chewing

Many different types of bacteria live in our mouths and build up on the teeth in a sticky film called dental plaque. When we eat and drink, these bacteria create acids, which can dissolve the protective layer beneath the retained plaque. The acid removes minerals from the enamel, which if left untreated can cause a cavity. Decay begins in the main portion of the tooth (the enamel) and as the enamel is broken down the decay can go deeper into the dentin and can eventually reach the nerve (pulp) of the tooth.

Your dentist can diagnose cavities by examining the tooth surface and by taking an x-ray to see if the cavity has gone from the enamel into the dentin or pulp of the tooth.

Benefits of dental implants

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Dental implants are considered one of the best solution modern dentistry has to offer patients who have lost one, several or even all of their natural teeth. Here, we will be explaining exactly why this is.

Dental Implants: Benefits and Advantages

  • Dental implants restore smiles!They support replacement teeth that are beautiful and natural looking, enabling you to smile with confidence.
  • Dental implants support a strong bite!They mimic the function of natural tooth roots and are made from the exceptionally strong metal titanium, which enables you to bite down naturally as though you never lost a tooth or teeth in the first place.
  • Dental implants improve speech: Trying to communicate confidently and clearly with missing teeth and/or bulky dentures can be exceptionally difficult. Dental implant supported crowns and bridges not only look and feel natural, thus improving self confidence, they also help to fill the gaps in your smile, which restores the proper interaction of the teeth, tongue and lips during speaking.
  • Dental implant restorations are freestanding: They don’t require support from the adjacent healthy teeth or underlying gums as many traditional teeth replacement technologies do. As such, dental implants don’t typically affect or damage these tissues. This, in turn, spares you from much of the associated discomfort.
  • Dental implants feel natural: Because implant restorations function more like natural teeth, they tend to feel natural too, which eliminates much of the discomfort and self-consciousness associated with the more conventional technologies used to replace teeth, such as tooth-supported bridges and removable dentures.
  • Dental implants can last for a long time: If cared for properly with regular dental check-ups, professional cleanings and good home oral hygiene, dental implants have the potential to last you many years with minimal, if any, restoration replacement.
  • Dental implants help to maintain good jawbone health: They help to keep the underlying bone stimulated and strong by transmitting to it the mechanical forces associated with eating and chewing. This helps to prevent atrophy and a loss of bone volume and density in the jaw.

Why Get A Dental Implant?

 

Dental implants provide many benefits over traditional forms of tooth replacement:

  • They Last much longer than bridges or dentures
  • An implant will prevent bone loss associated with missing teeth
  • They are a great replacement option to removable dentures and bridges.
  • No wear and tear on surrounding teeth is caused
  • They are aesthetically pleasing and very natural looking
  • Dental implants allow patient to eat hard foods with confidence
  • Patients experience an increase in self confidence
  • There are no age restriction for a dental implant (unlike alternative options)

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

 

If you’ve ever winced after an unwelcome twinge of tooth sensitivity, you’re not the only one.

Dentin hypersensitivity, or tooth sensitivity, is a common dental problem. It’s a condition that can develop over time, as a result of common problems such as receding gums and enamel wear. Most sufferers are between 20 and 50 years old. Tooth sensitivity can start to happen when the softer, inner part of the tooth called ‘dentin’ becomes exposed. Dentin lies under the enamel and the gums.

 

Thousands of microscopic channels run through the dentin towards the center of the tooth (see figure below). Once the dentin is exposed, external triggers (such as a cold drink) can stimulate the nerves inside the tooth, resulting in the characteristic short, sharp pain of tooth sensitivity.

 

Only a dentist can confirm you have dentin hypersensitivity. If you are experiencing any dental problems, please call our dental office in Jersey City for advice.   We can help to minimize further exposure of the dentin, care for your sensitive teeth and relieve the painful symptoms by making some simple changes to your daily oral care routine and dietary habits.

If you live in Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, Bayonne, or surrounding areas in New Jersey and need help with you dental problems or for any procedures such as dental implants, dentures, crowns or bridges, please call our office Charming Smile Dental at 201-425-8600.

Do I Need A Root Canal Treatment?

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Many patients will have this question especially when they have sharp shooting pain and are unsure what the cause might be.

Not all teeth pain needs to be corrected by root canal treatment.  There are lots of different reasons why a patient might be having a tooth ache.  Sometimes, tooth ache can be caused by a cavity and a cleaning of the cavity and fillingcould help alleviate that pain.  However, if the cause of your teeth pain is serious decay or infection in the tooth pulp, you may need a root canal.

A root canal is a multi-step dental procedure that involves removing the infected tooth pulp (and sometimes the nerve) from a tooth, and sealing it to protect against future teeth pain.

The term “root canal” also refers to the actual passages within the tooth between the pulp and the tooth roots. The root canals contain nerves and blood vessels. Once an adult tooth has emerged from the gums, the tooth’s nerve doesn’t serve a specific purpose other than sensing heat, cold, and other stimuli. Removing a nerve in an infected tooth is part of a standard procedure to treat teeth pain caused by decay or infection in the tooth pulp. Risk factors for infection in the tooth pulp include severe tooth decay, trauma to the tooth, recent dental procedures, large fillings, and cracks or chips in the teeth.

If you are in Jersey City, or Hoboken, or Union City, or Bayonne, or surrounding areas in New Jersey and you need a root canal treatment or need more information or help with your tooth pain, please call our office Charming Smile Dental at 201-425-8600.

What are Dental Implants?

We get this question very often especially at our Jersey City Dental Implants practice from patients who are looking to get missing tooth replaced.  Below we have tried to present a summary of the procedure in layman’s language to give our readers a quick understanding of this procedure.

A dental implant is a procedure whereby a metal fixture (this is usually a screw) is placed into the jawbone, and this implant then acts as a support or anchor for a new false tooth, or set of teeth.

Sounds quite a straightforward concept…right?  In reality, this is not necessarily a straightforward form of cosmetic dental surgery and requires considerable care and commitment from both the dental surgeon and the patient.

Dental implants can be used to replace teeth when they are badly damaged, and have no hope of survival. Over time, the implant or screw, fuses with the jaw bone and remains a strong support for the fake teeth (a process known as osseointegration).

There is the option to have one, or multiple dental implants in order to support a single or multiple teeth – which will all depend on your individual situation.

‘All-on-4’ dental implants are a whole set of teeth (lower or upper jaw) that sit on a set of 4 dental implants. They are a great solution to dentures as they are a permanent solution that do not need to be removed and are extremely strong and natural looking.

Hopefully, the above article provided you with some insight into the procedure. In future articles, we hope to provide more information on many of the advantages as well as risks involved that can help you make a more informed decision.

Ciao!

If you have missing teeth or have dentures and are looking for solutions for dental implants in Jersey City, or Hoboken, in Union City, or surrounding areas in New Jersey, please call our office at 201-425-8600.

What Should I Do If My Tooth Is Sensitive To Cold After It Is Crowned?

There are two types of sensitivity that can commonly experienced after a crown is cemented. One is sensitivity to biting pressure and the other is sensitivity to cold (and or hot) liquids. If a patient is experiencing either of these after a permanent crown is placed, then probably the best thing to do is to let their dentist know.

Sensitivity after a permanent crown is placed is not that uncommon. If a patient reports sensitivity to me, I check their bite, since a high bite can be irritating to the ligaments holding a tooth and can even cause pulpal sensitivity. A patient should be able to close there mouth comfortably without feeling any pain. If when they close their mouth (without chewing any food) they experience pain from a new crown, the bite should be adjusted.

If a patient can comfortably close their mouths, but does experience pain on heavy chewing, I usually ask them to wait and see if the pain gets better with time. A crown cementation can sometimes irritate the pulp and with time this irritation can diminish. This can take months to go away and if a patient is willing, its usually best to wait. If I see them at their next recall, the tooth is still sensitive to chewing or when drinking cold liquids, I take a radiograph and if nopathology is evident, I usually try to get the patient to wait longer, since the only real other options are to perform a root canal on the tooth or to cut off the crown and place a temporary crown with a sedative filling. Which of these I would choose, if I feel the need to treat the tooth, is dependent on whether I believe the pulp has a reversible or irreversible pulpitis.

Deciding whether a pulpitis is reversible is not always easy, but the prior history of the tooth has a lot to do with the decision. If a tooth was assymptomatic prior to me working on it initially, I am more likely to choose to remove a crown and place a temporary. If a tooth had a pre-existing crack in it or was symptomatic prior to me preparing it for a crown, I am more likely to recommend the patient visiting an endodontist and have a root canal done through the crown.

I feel that the pulp is still vital and not infected, there is usually no harm in watchful waiting, since with enough time sensitive crowned teeth can calm down. I explain this to my patient and if the symptoms are bearable we often wait for the symptoms to slowly go away. If the symptoms are worsening instead, we can always choose the root canal option.

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