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Everything you Need to Know About Mouth guards Imagine what would it be if you lost one or more of your teeth due to an injury? Not only will you have difficulty in eating and speaking but you will also have to face significant esthetic problems due to the missing teeth. So what can you do prevent dental injuries? One way would be to avoid any situation which may result in trauma to your teeth. However, this is not always possible as accidents can occur at any time. If you want your teeth and gums to be prevented from accidental damage, then you should consider wearing a mouthguard. What is a Mouthguard? Mouthguards, also known as mouth protectors are simple dental appliances that prevent teeth and gums from traumatic injuries by providing a cushion to any blow or impact force. Mouthguards are usually worn over the upper teeth, which are among the most common dental structures to get damaged due to trauma due to their forward placement. Who Should Wear a Mouthguard? Mouthguards should be worn by anyone who is at a greater risk of having dental emergencies. A mouthguard is recommended for you in the following cases: • Contact Sports – your facial structures are more prone to dental injuries if you like contact sports like football, soccer should wear a mouthguards while playing. • Non-contact/Recreational Sports – although there are less chances of dental injuries in non-contact sports like riding a bicycle, skateboarding or gymnastics, it’s best to prevent your teeth and gums by wearing a mouthguard. How Many Types of Mouthguards are There? • Stock Mouthguards – these are preformed and available in various sizes. However, since they do not provide optimal fit, breathing and speaking becomes difficult when they are worn. We do not recommend it. • Boil and Bite Mouthguards – These can be bought at various sports stores. They offer better fit and comfort in comparison to the stock protectors. Since they are prepared from thermoplastic materials, they are boiled and then placed inside the mouth to shape them according to the contour of the teeth. MAY CAUSE STRESS TO THE TMJ- LEADING TO SORENESS AND PAIN • Custom Mouthguards – these are individually prepared for each patient at the dentist’s office and provide the best fit and convenience. These mouth protectors are more expensive than the other two types and require longer time for fabrication BUT OFFER THE BEST AND SAFEST SOLUTION. Just like other parts of the body your teeth are also an asset, and you should make sure that you protect them at any cost. If you want to retain your natural teeth throughout life, then it would be a good idea to start wearing mouthguards to protect your oral soft and hard tissues from accidental damage. Other types of sports that you can use a mouthguard for: o American football o Boxing o Hockey o Basketball o Soccer o Baseball o Rugby If you need a custom mouthguard or splint […]

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Pit and Fissure Sealants Apart from improving our looks and facial esthetics, one of the major functions of our teeth is to chew food and help in its digestion. Molars have wide chewing surfaces, and for efficient grinding of food these surfaces have what we call “pits and fissures”. Due to the presence of these depressions and elevations present on the surfaces of our back teeth surface, food particles tend to get trapped in, despite regular brushing. These pits and fissures which are helpful during chewing, tend to become troublesome under certain conditions. The disadvantage After we have eaten, food particles are more likely to adhere to these tooth surfaces trapped within the pits and fissures. Because of their uneven shape and rear-ward location, these surfaces are more difficult to clean. Bacteria get time to convert these food particles to acid which makes the local environment in the mouth more acidic. Enamel in these pits and fissures tends to get demineralized. As a result, chewing surfaces of molars are more likely to develop cavities than other tooth surfaces. This is particularly true in case of children who have smaller sized molars, and may not clean their teeth properly. Dental sealants A popular and convenient solution is the use of dental sealants. Your dentist will decide whether sealants will benefit you. Children’s molars are often covered with dental sealants by their dentist or hygienist. These are, essentially, plastic shells painted onto molar surfaces. Since food does not come in contact with the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, dental sealants tend to eliminate the chances of developing childhood caries in the molar and premolar teeth. Application Procedure It is a very short, simple and painless procedure. The dentist or hygienist cleans the surfaces thoroughly and dries them. The liquid sealant is then applied so that it flows over the surfaces evening out the depressions well. When dried, and hardened with IR light, it forms a very thin seal over the surface. Dental pit and fissure sealants need to be replaced after 2-3 years. Important information Unless there is already a cavity on the tooth, your dentist or hygienist will suggest that you apply sealants on the child’s molars (adults can also get them). If it has not been suggested, you can always ask. Most dental insurances, including Medicaid, cover sealants. If you do not have dental insurance, do not worry. Sealants are usually inexpensive, and you can also plan it with your clinic to do 2 at a time. If you need a trusted pediatric dentist, browse our clinics or contact us to match you with one close to you. Was this helpful? Follow us on social media instagram and facebook

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How Dental Cavities Form Your dentist must have told you that cavities are bad for your teeth! If you also happen to have teeth cavities, then you are not alone! According to the national Institute of Dental and Cranio-facial Research (NIDCR), about 92% of all adults from 20 to 64 years of age have had cavities in their permanent teeth at some stage in their life. In addition, dental caries is the most common chronic illness in children! Now, before we learn how to prevent cavities, we need to understand, how cavities are formed? Here we go! The plaque Dental plaque is a sticky layer which keeps building up on your teeth all the time. Brushing and flossing removes plaque from most of the surface of your teeth. When plaque is allowed to accumulate onto teeth, it becomes hard and turn into dental calculus. Both plaque and calculus serves as a sanctuary for growth of malicious bacteria. Role of Bacteria in Demineralization of Teeth Dental Enamel, the hardest outer covering on your teeth is a crystalline mineral substance that protects your teeth from cavities and demineralization. When you ignore regular brushing and flossing, bacteria inside the plaque and calculus start producing acidic products and make the saliva less alkaline. Under normal circumstances, the pH of saliva is alkaline and it helps the enamel retain its mineral crystals by carefully maintaining a balance between bone resorption and bone formation. When saliva becomes less basic, the enamel starts losing its mineral content due to bone resorption. What Happens When Tooth Demineralization Occurs? When teeth start losing their mineral content, they become soft and weak. Thus, the enamel layer of the teeth gradually starts to diminish and the underlying dentine and pulp layers are exposed, causing sensitivity and making the teeth vulnerable to dental infections. Gradually, cavities start forming in places where tooth enamel has been depleted. So, how is it my fault? Daily brushing and flossing will keep the possibility of cavity formation low. However, plaque may still form in difficult-to-clean places. To prevent teeth cavities, gum and periodontal infections, you must make sure that you take out time for a dental checkup every 6 months. You miss any of these two and you stand risk of developing cavities. Another important factor for the health of your teeth is nutrition. Everything we eat will have an effect on both our oral health and our overall health. Foods high in sugar, and acid are detrimental for our teeth. Limit the consumption if you are unable to eliminate it. Although it may sound cliché, you will notice a difference if you commit to diminishing the amount of sugar and acid that you intake. Cavities in Kids It is surprising and sad how much misconception or lack of knowledge there still is on children and cavities. Perhaps we have not done enough as community leaders and as a dental profession to propagate the message. As a clinician, I often hear things like “ I didn’t […]

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Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction Anatomy and Conservative Treatment Options By Raymond M. Ruszkowski, D.C., C.P.T. In twenty years of practice as chiropractic physician, I have treated many patients with jaw related pain, ear pain, headaches, and neck pain which have originated from TMJ dysfunction. TMJ is the shortened name for temporomandibular joint disorders. It describes a group of disorders in which the connecting point between the jaw and the skull becomes painful and swollen. The cause of the disorder can vary widely, and in some instances, no known cause is ever discovered. The temporomandibular joint is a diarthrosis or freely moveable joint. The TMJ is composed of a synovial cavity, articular cartilage, and a capsule that covers the same joint. This joint is the union of the temporal bone cavity with the mandibular condyle. Symptoms of TMJ, which I have seen in practice, are widely varied. Person to person differentiation in symptoms are not unlike other musculoskeletal maladies but some of the more typical problems are fairly common among most sufferers. These symptoms might include pain in the jaw, trouble chewing or talking, headaches, and neck pain. In some cases, the patient may also experience a bit of dizziness. Since other ailments can cause similar problems, it’s important to be seen by a professional in order to accurately diagnose your symptoms and find a treatment plan which works best for you. Anatomy of the TMJ The anatomy of this joint is interesting but complex. I’ll delve into the anatomy sufficiently enough in order to create a mental image for the reader as this article progresses. The TMJ is the main connection between the skull and the lower jaw. The joint is comprised of • The participating area of the temporal bone. • The articular disc within the joint capsule. • The head of mandible. • The surrounding ligaments. The joint is separated into a superior and an inferior compartment by the articular disc. The superior compartment is bordered superiorly (above) by the mandibular fossa of the temporal bone and inferiorly (below) by the articular disc itself. It contains approximately 1.2 mL of synovial fluid and is responsible for the translational movement of the joint. The inferior compartment has the articular disc as a superior border and the condyle of the mandible as an inferior border. It is slightly smaller with an average synovial fluid volume of 0.9 mL and allows rotational movements. In the absence of major trauma or structural damage to the Mandible, Temporal bone, or articular disc, the muscles which act upon the TMJ often contribute to the symptoms of pain and bruxism. Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep. Here’s a look at the muscles which act on the TMJ. There are four muscles that make direct contact with TMJ: masseter, temporal, and two pterygoids. The masseter muscle has […]

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sedating children for dental work

Why? Your child has been diagnosed with cavities and now the dentist wants to “sedate” him.  It sounds nerve wrecking! The need for dental treatment in children is very important because they have a lifetime ahead of them. There are situations when children need to undergo invasive dental treatment. However, unlike the adults, children are usually too scared or uncooperative to allow the dentist to perform the treatment under local anesthesia. In these cases, non-cooperative and anxious children are given dental treatment under sedation. Forms of sedation The dentist will choose the mildest form of sedation that will suffice. The options are: Conscious Sedation – Sometimes the efforts to relax the patient, to allay fears, or to prevent violent obstructive movements is not enough. In that case, conscious sedation is used. During conscious sedation the patient remains conscious of what goes on. He or she can respond to pain, cues, commands and protective reflexes are retained. The child can also, inform the dentist of any pain they feel. Conscious Sedation may be done in many ways: Inhalation Sedation – Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is mixed with oxygen, and given through a face mask. The gas acts fast, and after the treatment, the effect wears out quickly. Patients should have had only a light meal. Oral Sedation- For stronger sedation oral medicines may be given, in liquid or tablet form. With a proper dose the child will be sleepy but can be readily aroused. The child will be able to obey simple commands by the dentist. Nausea or vomiting may occur in some patients. Other Methods of sedation- Intravenous or intra-muscular sedatives can also be given per the situation. Suppositories may also be used in younger children. General anesthesia – When the dental surgeon needs to keep the patient unconscious for a longer period he or she will use a general anesthesia. The child will be unconscious and will need time to recover senses and muscle control. Before and After Before sedation / anesthesia, the patient will normally be required to have had only a light meal. In case of general anesthesia, the child needs to be kept under surveillance till he or she recovers her senses and control fully. The patient may also react to food intake, so it is very important to follow the instructions given by the dentist. *For a more in depth information on sedating children, guidelines and procedures, you may visit: the American Association of Pediatrics *To book a trusted dentist in your area you may search our carefully screened dental clinics.  

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Gum Disease

  What is Gum Disease and How to Prevent it? Tooth decay and periodontitis (gum disease) are the two most common dental disorders that dentists come across each day. The basic reason behind the development of gum problems, is poor oral hygiene maintenance. So, what are the causes of gum diseases and how you can prevent them? Continue reading to find out! What is Gum Disease? Gum disease is usually characterized by three different stages of severity: Gingivitis – This earliest stage is marked by swollen, red, and tender gums. They may bleed on touch and may cause bad odor in the mouth. No damage has yet been caused to the tissue, and the disease can often be controlled by strict oral hygiene. Periodontitis– If gum disease is ignored continuously, gums start parting away from the teeth thus forming pockets in which plaque can harden into tartar and bacteria can thrive. These bacteria attack the gum and the bone tissue. The teeth start loosening. Advanced periodontitis– Body immune system reacts and attacks the bacteria, destroying the gum and bone tissue also as a collateral. This results in severe loss of gum and bone tissue, and loss of teeth. What causes gum disease? Gum disease is caused by the presence of two things simultaneously and for a long interval: Plaque and bacteria. Bacteria tend to flourish inside the dental plaque and calculus. It is some of these bacteria living inside the plaque which cause gum diseases by releasing toxic substances that damage the gum and periodontal tissues. First, the fibers attaching the gums to the bone are destroyed. Afterwards, the jaw bones start the degrade and teeth become mobile in their sockets, and ultimately fall off.  Preventing Gum Disease Since the disease causing bacterial flourish in the plaque, keeping your teeth free of plaque is the key to preventing gum disease. Two activities must be performed regularly: Good oral hygiene measures, such as brushing and flossing, to prevent your teeth and gums from damage. (Six- monthly) dental inspections, and cleaning where necessary. These visits will ensure that dental problems are diagnosed at early stages and treated accordingly. How does this relate to my Overall health? Unfortunately, for most of us, when we think of oral health and our body, we think of them as separate parts.  Our mouth is connected to our body, and a big contributing factor to our health. The food we eat and how well we take care of it are of upmost importance. You see, since we have a connected circulatory system any bacteria that is present in our mouth will circulate throughout the rest of our body.  Likewise, if we have any inflammation in our mouth, your whole body goes into an inflammatory response.  This means, that if we have any underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, or any other conditions, two things can happen.  One, your condition can get worse, or two, the condition in your mouth will deteriorate.  For example; […]

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