Northampton Implant and Family Dentistry
Have you ever woken up with your teeth or jaw hurting from simple tightness, not knowing what the cause was? Chances are you might have sleep apnea. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 18 million Americans have sleep apnea.
So what exactly is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when you stop breathing while sleeping. Sleep apnea causes breathing interruptions that happen throughout the entire night. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 30 or more times per hour.
When you stop breathing in your sleep, your brain can respond in one of two ways; either your mouth opens, causing your saliva to dry up and provide a perfect habitat for a germ infestation — or your subconscious self might decide to open up its’ own airway by removing any obstacles, such as grinding your teeth down to nubs, or biting your tongue or cheek, and potentially causing an infection. On top of that, according to WebMD, sleep apnea is also linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
When your mouth is dry and you’re lacking saliva (which your mouth needs in order to fight off bacteria), it can cause an increase of germs, causing potential tooth decay, cavities, and loss of bone density.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) notes that sleep apnea may lead to bruxism. Bruxism is the grinding of teeth. This happens when forceful contact between your teeth wears on the enamel and damages the roots, causing sensitivity, and pain and often calling for major dental repairs. These repairs include the need for fillings, crowns, or even potential extractions and implants.
The grinding of teeth can also damage the chewing muscles and cause TMJ. This can affect your facial joint health and even your facial expressions over time.
According to the NSF, treating sleep apnea has the potential to lessen nocturnal teeth grinding. How do you treat it? Many dentists recommend a night guard. However, while they may be cheaper than getting a CPAP machine, they often make the problem worse. Night guards can be considered as another airway blockage to your sleeping, unconscious self. This could potentially cause harder and heavier grinding in order to open up that airway.
(In some cases, such as a dietary deficiency, grinding of teeth can be stopped by a night guard.)
So how do you properly treat sleep apnea? There are multiple different types of oral appliances that exist, which keep the airway open at night so that you can access deep-stage sleep without it being interrupted by grinding, snoring, tossing, and turning, or other breathing difficulties. One type of oral appliance is a mandibular advancement device. This looks like a sports mouth guard but it is used for a completely different reason. An MAD connects to the upper and lower dental arches and it prevents you from being able to fully close your mouth, thus preventing the grinding of teeth.
In heavier cases, a CPAP machine may be necessary. The CPAP – continuous positive airway pressure device – is a mask that fits over the nose and the mouth and blows air into the airway to assist in keeping it open during sleep.
These machines can often get noisy, and might be unsettling to your partner or family members, so depending on the situation, a simple mouth guard might still be your best op
Healthy teeth are considered to be clean and have no cavities. Healthy gums are pink and firm. To maintain healthy teeth and gums it is recommended that we all brush at least twice a day, in addition to flossing at least once a day. To keep healthy teeth it is good to have a healthy diet, also to avoid sweets, and to not smoke.
Even with healthy habits, it is still very important to go to your regular dental check-ups: to have a professional cleaning done, have check-up x-rays taken, in addition to having an exam by your dental provider.
It is always good to keep in mind that dentist recommend you floss before you brush your teeth. Flossing removes plaque from between your teeth and gums.
It is recommended that adults as well as children brush their teeth at least twice a day, for about 2 minutes each time. It is also good to use fluoridated toothpaste; the fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, in addition to helping prevent tooth decay. Dentists also recommend that you use a soft-bristled brush and that you replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
Things to know about tooth decay and gum disease:
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by plaque, which is a sticky combination of bacteria and food. Plaque begins to build up on your teeth within 20 minutes after eating. If you don’t care for your teeth at least twice a day the plaque will build-up and eventually lead to tooth decay. If the plaque isn’t removed, it will then turn into hard deposits called tartar, which will become trapped at the base of the teeth, along the gum line. Plaque and tartar will then in turn cause the gums to become irritated and inflamed.
Plaque and tartar can lead to a number of issues:
• Cavities, which are holes that damage the tooth structure
• Gingivitis, which are swollen, inflamed, and bleeding gums
• Periodontitis, is the destruction of the ligaments and bone that support the teeth, often leading to tooth loss
• Bad breath
• Abscesses, pain, inability to use teeth
• In addition to other health problems outside the mouth, from preterm labor to heart disease
So continue to keep up the great brushing, flossing, in addition to coming to your recommended professional cleaning’s!
Dec 14th, 2017 2:44 pm
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With Halloween just around the corner, many of us parents may be running around trying to find the perfect costumes for our children to go trick-or-treating in. However moms and dads out there we also need to think about our children’s oral health when it comes to this sugary, sweet, and ghoulish day. As most of us adult know sugary treats can have negative effects on our children’s teeth as well as our teeth.
While consuming many delicious treats on this day to celebrate Halloween, we may not see the negative effects right away. Cavities and decay on the teeth usually happen with too much exposure to sugary candies and snacks. The decay grows over time with the continued and excessive consumption of candy and sugary treats. Young children are more susceptible to decay during their first few years after their eruption in the mouth, and since children are getting teeth until around age 13, they have a higher vulnerability for decay.
The best advice we can give you parents out there, is to not let those Halloween treat sit around the house for too long. Consider allowing your kids to have a few pieces a day for a week and then getting rid of the rest of the treats to cut down their exposure, and consumption. The frequency of sugary consumption has a lot do with the cavity-causing decay that forms in your mouth.
Letting your children enjoy their Halloween candy is moderation won’t be harmful, as long as your children have good oral health habits. Around this time of year it is good to be diligent in making sure your children brush and floss regularly, and making sure they don’t sneak any candy into their rooms before bedtime, after they have brushed and flossed. This will ensure that their smiles will stay healthy well beyond this “frightening” time of year.
Oct 31st, 2017 7:34 am
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As most of us have heard from our parents, it is important to take care of your teeth, in addition to visiting your dental provider regularly.
More than 50 years ago now, very few individuals took good care of their teeth. There were no guidelines 50 years ago for how often people should visit their dental provider, and how to properly care for their teeth. Many dental providers focused more on fixing a dental problem 50 years ago rather than preventing the problem.
Dental and health organizations decided there was a need to set standards of preventative dental care. So over time these organizations found that on average if patients came in twice a year for routine dental cleanings, exams, and check-ups x-rays, that, their chances of developing dental issues was much less, than if patients didn’t visit the dentist on a regular basis. The twice a year was a recommendation made by the organizations, in addition to good oral hygiene at home.
Even if you do indeed take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home, it is still a great rule of thumb to visit your dental provider on a regular basis, to ensure that something doesn’t develop that you may not necessarily see or feel.
On average patient seeing a dental provider twice a year works well for many patients, some can get away with fewer visits, and then there are some patients that need to come in more frequently. Patients that come in more frequently may have a higher risk of dental disease may include but are not limited to: smokers, pregnant women, diabetics, people with gum disease, people with weakened immune response to bacterial infection, and people who tend to get cavities or buildup of plaque. If you are questioning whether you should come in more or less it is always good rule of thumb to consult your dental provider for all your dental questions and concerns.
Oct 5th, 2017 11:49 am
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An oral piercing is a hole in your lip, tongue, cheek, and or uvula (the tiny tissue at the back of your throat). This is so an individual can express themselves through a piece of jewelry attached to their body. This may be an appealing way to express your style, but it can be quite dangerous. Everyone’s mouth is filled with bacteria that can lead to infection and swelling. Tongue piercings also can put you at a higher risk for bleeding and blood loss, because you have a lot of blood vessels in that area.
- Prolonged bleeding
- Pain and swelling
- Chipped of cracked teeth
- Injury to your gums
- Interference with normal oral function
- Blood-borne diseases
- Make it hard to speak, chew, and or swallow
- The jewelry placed may also cause you to have an allergic reaction
People with certain conditions that might make it hard for the piercing to heal are particularly at risk for health problems; those include but are not limited to: heart disease, diabetes, hemophilia, and autoimmune diseases.
While your piercing is healing, you should be able to remove the jewelry for short periods of time without the hole closing. If you get a tongue piercing, the piercer will start with a larger “barbell” to give your tongue room to heal as it swells. Dentist recommends that after the swelling has gone down to put in a smaller piece of jewelry, so it is less likely to hurt your teeth and gums.
When caring for your moth after an oral piercing it is good to take the jewelry out and properly clean around the piercing. If you have a tongue piercing it is especially important to take the jewelry out and to brush your teeth and your tongue to ensure you get all the bacteria out of your mouth. You might want to even take the jewelry out while you sleep or before you decide to do something active. To prevent injury.
You can expect short term swelling, pain, and extra saliva with oral piercings.
Signs to watch out for:
- Lots of bleeding
- A bad smell
If you have any of these signs see a healthcare provider. Please remember that if you feel that something just isn’t right seek medical attention as well.
Aug 17th, 2017 2:16 pm
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Your dental provider has been right, when telling you that if you want a fresher mouth, than you should use a mouth rinse. Regardless of what your dental concerns may be, mouth rinses are recommended for all adult, in addition to children that are over the age of six. If you really don’t want to spend more time in the dental office, continue reading this blog for some helpful information on the top five best mouth rinses, so you can go out, and pick yourself up a good mouth rinse. We have found some of the best mouth rinses to use twice daily, along with your normal brushing and flossing routine.
Mouth rinses are a liquid that can be swished around in your mouth to improve the health of the teeth, gums, and tongue. Mouth rinses do more than just freshen up your breathe; it can actually fight plaque and gingivitis, prevent cavities, tartar, and periodontal disease, soothe minor irritations, and even whiten your teeth. With continued use mouth rinses can even help fight oral cancer and leave you with a healthier mouth.
- TheraBreath oral rinse- if you are the type of person that finds mouth rinses to sting you tongue then this would be a perfect fit for your needs. This clinically proven oral rinse uses the oxygenating power of OXYD-8 to instantly fight bacteria that causes bad breath for 24 hours. This product neutralizes sulfur-producing bacteria to help freshen your breath, stop dry mouth, and prevent morning breath. TheraBreath doesn’t have any artificial colors, flavors, or alcohol, so it will leave you with fresh breath, without the stinging sensation. This product has also been certified for 20 years for being vegan, gluten-free, and kosher.
- Listerine antiseptic mouth rinse- is the #1 dentist recommended brand and most widely used in the country. This triple action formula can kill germs; leave your mouth feeling cleaner and fresher. This affordable mouth rinse has been clinically proven to prevent and reduce your chances of plaque buildup, in addition to fighting gingivitis for up to 12 hours. Listerine uses a formula of four essential oils; eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and thymol, these oils instantly kill millions of germs on contact. These ingredients work by killing the bad bacteria that causes bad breath instead of just covering up the bad breath. With continued use of this product it has been known to help prevent gum disease. The ADA has put its seal of acceptance on this particular product because of the oral health benefits, in addition to having over 100 years of usage.
- Biotene oral rinse for dry mouth– if you are experiencing dry mouth, you’ll want to try this product out. This soothing mouth rinse uses the LP3 salivary enzyme-protein system to help prevent tooth decay and oral disease, soothe minor irritation, fight bad breath, and refresh and moisturize your mouth throughout the whole day. This is an alcohol-free product, so it will freshen up your breath without that stinging sensation. This is a dentist and hygienist #1 product for dry mouth that offers immediate and long-lasting relief.
- ACT restoring mouth rinse- can prevent tooth decay, strengthen enamel, re-mineralize soft spots, and freshens your breath. The anti-cavity fluoride mouth rinse can also help prevent cavities and soothe sore gums, so your mouth will feel cleaner every time you use this product. This product has been chosen as a #1 dentist recommended fluoride mouth rinse.
- SmartMouth alcohol-Free mouth rinse- is completely unique and comes with two bottles, which each contain a different active ingredient. Just before using this product you will mix the two formulas together, which will, maximize the release of the zinc ions. This dentist-developed mouth rinse promises up to 12 hours of fresh breath, so you count on it to fight both common and chronic bad breath all day. This product also states that if you gargle at bedtime that you will wake up with fresh breath. This dentist approved mouth rinse uses a patented Smart-zinc technology, which is safe for diabetics to use.
Aug 2nd, 2017 12:23 pm
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If you’re missing a tooth or teeth and would like to explore this option further always consult your dental service provider for the best recommended options for you and your dental needs.
Dental crowns and bridges are fixed prosthetic devices, compared to removable dentures and partial dentures. Crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or tooth, the crown acts like a cap that goes onto an existing tooth or teeth. Crowns aka caps purpose is to cover a broken or chipped tooth used to improve appearance, shape, and or alignment.
When it comes to a crown and bridge, the affected tooth is cover by the crown and the two adjacent teeth are also crowned for support. When a bridge is produced a porcelain tooth aka pontic is fused to the two or more crowns on either side and once the crowns are fitted onto the adjoining teeth, the porcelain pontic appears to be emerging out of the gum.
When you’re not happy with your smile due to having a missing tooth or teeth, if you have a tooth cracked, damaged, or if you feel that your tooth may be poorly shaped compared to the rest of your teeth. It is best again to consult your dental provider about good options for your tooth or teeth that you feel may need some extra help.
Dental crowns and bridges are commonly used to: replace a large filling when there isn’t much tooth structure left, to restore a fractured tooth or teeth, also to cover poorly shaped or discolored tooth, in addition to covering a tooth that had a root canal.
Jul 27th, 2017 11:13 am
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I’m sure most us have heard this since we were children but here it goes, dentist recommend brushing at least twice a day, so it is important that you have the right toothbrush. Your toothbrush should be replaced every three months, so you have plenty of time to experiment, but we’ve found some of the best ones to get you started.
A manual toothbrush is an oral hygiene product that consists of a group of bristles attached to a handle that is not electronically powered. So this toothbrush requires the user to move the toothbrush around your teeth and gums in a circular motion. This is essential for good oral health, because a toothbrush gets the food and plaque that is stuck on and in between your teeth. So with that being said here are the 5 best manual toothbrushes:
Colgate extra clean– provides a better clean with circular power bristles. The polished round end bristles help protect enamel and gums, while providing a superior clean feel. The thin, flexible, easy to grip handles allows you to get a good grip, while the full head allows you to clean easily. It also features a cleaning tip, which is specially designed to clean hard to reach areas, like your back teeth.
Oral-B Pro-Health clinical Pro-Flex –if you are looking for a powerful, yet gentle clean this toothbrush will be a great fit for your needs. This brush offers a superior clean thanks to two flexing sides that adjust to the curve and contours of your teeth. It cleans along the gum line, but is gentle on the tooth enamel and sensitive gums. It removes up to 93% of plaque in hard to reach areas and up to 34% more plaque along your gum line.
Collins Perio toothbrush- is a unique toothbrush because it has innovation tapered filaments that penetrate deep between the teeth and around the gums to remove plaque and debris, which offers a flossing effect. The super slim tapered polyester bristles are less porous than nylon bristles and reduce tooth abrasion to save your tooth enamel. The bristles on this brush have been proven to last up to 50% longer than a traditional tooth brush.
GUM technique deep clean toothbrush- makes it easy to brush the way your dental hygienist recommends. Your dental hygienist recommends that you clean your teeth on a 45-degree angle, you are able to really clean around and under the gums without irritating them. The patented no-slip, quad-grip thumb pad on the handle is designed to make it easier to hold the brush properly, and to brush on an angle as recommended. The soft compact head of the brush naturally flows over the curves of the teeth, including around the molars or where the teeth are missing.
Nimbus microfine toothbrush- is a very gentle, but effective, so it is ideal if you want softness as well as complete plaque removal. This toothbrush was designed to protect your mouth and prevent damage to the gums and teeth, while effectively removing plaque. This brush has long tapered extra fine bristles along with shorter, support bristles, which all together will reach into hard reach areas, like towards to the back of your mouth where your molars are located.
Jul 20th, 2017 1:45 pm
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As with any other surgical procedures, there is a variety of internal and external factors that cause complications or even total failure of the treatment, and dental implants are no exceptions. Dental implants are designed to be a permanent replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. Dental implants are a popular alternative to removable dentures and fixed bridges. With dental implants the artificial tooth or teeth are anchored directly into the jawbone which makes them more functional and aesthetically pleasing restoration. Dental implants are the closest thing to a real tooth as you can get. Dental implants will consist of several steps start to finish; step 1 being an implant consult with a 3 D x-ray to check bone structure, step 2 will be the placement of the implant post into the jawbone, step 3 placement of the abutment, which is the connector piece that goes from the post and connects to the crown. In addition to those 3 steps your dental provider will also set-up check-up appointments as necessary. With that being said you need to properly care for them just as you would real teeth, brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, in addition to your regular checkups at your dental office.
The purpose of this blog is to give you some incite as to why some dental implants work and why other dental implants fail.
Failed Osseointegration describes the formation of a direct functional and structural connection between a person’s bone and an artificial implant. This process takes place over a course of several months after the implant is placed. The failure of an implant is often associated with the failure of the implant fusing with the jawbone. There are several contributing factors; incorrect positioning, insufficient bone density or volume, overloading, damage to surrounding tissues, external force/sudden impact. There is hope for patients that do lack the adequate bone height, width or length, with additional procedures like: bone grafting, and sinus lift. With that being said there will be additional cost and healing time if those additional procedures are needed.
Peri- Implantitis, or Infection, can set in when bacteria is present during oral surgery or anytime post-surgery if there isn’t proper oral hygene. Patients with diabetes, smokers, patients with thin gums and those with poor oral hygiene are at greater risk of developing an infection. Smoking in particular significantly decreases the success rate of an implant.
Overloading is refered to the all-in-one procedure for the implant. When this procedure is done in one step the pressure/forces in your mouth may cause the implant to fail, due to the bone not being able to fuse to the implant, prior to abutment and crown placement.
The McGill University has been reserching this topic, October 25,2016, the McGill University published their story in the Science Daily news online. Their reserch teams led them to two commonly used drugs that may be affecting your dental implants. Their reserchers found that one of the drugs may help improve your chances of your implant being that permanent solution to your missing tooth, where as the other drug may hinder your success for your implant. Success of implants depends mainly on how well the exsiting bone accepts the implant, to create a connection between the living bone and your implant post.
McGill University found that patients taking Beta Blockers, have had a high success rate than those patients taking heartburn medication. Beta Blockers are a common medication that helps reduce a patient blood pressure. This medication helps by slowing down your heart rate with less force, which helps open up your blood vessels to improve blood flow, this particular medication has been reported to increase bone formation. Those of you taking heartburn medication take note here, this medication has been known to reduce the calcium absorbtion by the bone and increase your chances of bone fractures. Therefore you may want to reconsider taking that heartburn medication if you are considering an implant.
For best result when getting a dental implant it is good to give a complete medical history, in addition to your madication list so your provider is aware and can properly care for your dental needs.
Jul 12th, 2017 5:39 am
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Has anyone ever warned you about eating taffy and candy apples, and what it might due to that beautiful smile of yours? Those sticky treats are not the only thing ruining your smile and causing you to spend more time in the dentist chair.
- Ice – you may be sitter here thinking ice really? Why yes even though ice is made of water, it is the cold hard consistency of the ice that strips the teeth of your enamel making them vulnerable to bacteria that can cause cavities. Crunching on the ice has been known to chip teeth and even crack fillings.
- Bad carbohydrates -like your fitness guru will say eat more fiber, more protein, and fewer carbohydrates. When your body breaks down the carbohydrates, they become sugar. The bacterium that is living in your mouth thrives on the sugar that is broken down in your mouth. When the bacteria eats the sugar the bacteria produces acid that wears away at your teeth and causes tooth decay.
- Citrus fruits –are great for keeping nasty colds at bay, but really do a number on your teeth. The citric acids in fruits wear away at the enamel on your teeth. It is good to keep in mind that when eating fruits to not brush right after, but to rinse with water during and after eating fruits and other foods with citric acid.
- Sour foods – while we’re talking about acid, it’s important to understand that anything sour contains acid. Not only citrus, and candy have high acidity but some soups, sauerkraut, and buttermilk also contain acid. It is important to do water rinses during and after eating.
- Coffee – may not come to you as surprise, because coffee is known to stain your teeth, but it is actually the sweeteners/sugar that people put in their coffee that harms your teeth due to the bacterium thriving on the sweeteners/ sugar. In addition the caffeine in the coffee dries out the mouth, which isn’t good either, because we need the saliva to prevent tooth decay by washing away the sugars and acid that builds up on the teeth.
- Alcohol – is another cause of dry mouth. With excessive drinking over time the saliva production decreases and will eventually impair digestion. In addition to tooth decay because the saliva in our mouth is what helps aid in washing away the sugars and food that we ingest.
- Sticky foods – are especially bad for your teeth, even in the smallest amount of stickiness in your food, because it stays on your teeth and feeds the decay-causing bacteria that form dental plaque.
- Soda – really not much of a surprise to this list of bad things for your teeth. The sugar and acid in the soda eats away at your enamel and the sugar mixed with the bacteria in your mouth can cause tooth decay.
- Kombucha – is getting a lot of buzz in the media for its health benefits. But, in the world of dentistry the popular fermented tea drink isn’t very good for your teeth. The tea contains a lot of acid, and the acid wears away enamel which can cause a number of issues for your teeth.
- Crimson foods- hyperpigmented foods certainly will stain your teeth. These foods include things like; beets, berries, curry, soy sauce, and tomato sauce. The best way to avoid staining your teeth is by using a straw in addition to rinsing before, during meal, and after your meal.
Jul 5th, 2017 12:44 pm
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