When Do I Need To Premedicate For My Dental Work?

Published on May 21, 2016 by

 

 

Patients do not know if premedication with antibiotics is necessary for them due to a medical condition or procedure they had done.

Antibiotic prophylaxis (or premedication) is the act of taking antibiotics one-hour before certain dental procedures like cleanings, extractions, and root canals.  The bacteria we naturally have occurring in our mouths can enter our bloodstream due to everyday things we do like eating, brushing, flossing along with dental treatments mentioned earlier.  For the healthy immune system, this bacteria will not cause harm; however, it can pose a risk to those immune-compromised individuals.  For these reasons, patients have been told to take an antibiotic before their dental treatment.

Recommendations have changed for those who need to take antibiotics before their appointment.  Two types of patients who are to follow the premedication guidelines are people with prosthetic joints/orthopedic implants and those with heart conditions.

 It is imperative to talk to your physician well before your dental visit to ensure you are following their most recent recommendations.  Your doctor can provide you with a note for your dental team. This way you can avoid interrupting your necessary dental care, and you can be ready for your upcoming visit.

Early Detection of Oral Cancer Increases Survival Rates

Published on February 9, 2016 by

Early Detection of Oral Cancer Increases Survival Rates

As with other forms of cancer, the chances of surviving oral cancer are greatly increased when you catch it in its early stages. In fact, survival rates are as high as 81 percent when oral cancer is detected early, compared to a survival rate of 17 percent or less with late intervention. And while nothing can take the place of a thorough oral cancer screening by a dentist or physician, regular self-exams at home can increase the likelihood that an oral cancer lesion will be detected early.

 

As you examine your mouth, you are looking for the following:

  • Reddish patches
  • White patches
  • Raised, lumpy, or thickened areas
  • A sore that fails to heal within about two weeks, or that bleeds easily

Now you know what to look for, time to start checking.

  • Use a flashlight or other bright light to see inside your mouth.
  • Remove any dental appliances (retainers, dentures).
  • Facing a mirror, look and feel inside your lips and at your front gums.
  • Pull your cheek out to see the inside, as well as the back gums.
  • Tilt your head back and check the roof of your mouth.
  • Stick out your tongue and check all surfaces, particularly the sides and underneath.
  • Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in both sides of the neck and under the lower jaw. Other signs of oral cancer include a chronic sore throat, hoarseness, and difficulty chewing or swallowing.

Attending routine recare appointments will also help detect any signs of oral cancer.

New Year Resolutions for your Teeth

Published on January 7, 2016 by

 

 

New Year’s resolutions are an important part of welcoming in the New Year because it provides you with some direction to move forward with. Resolutions encourage you to go beyond what you’ve been doing so far and challenge yourself in ways you never thought you could.

While you may have your own resolutions you want to achieve, why not try adding some New Year resolutions for your teeth into the mix? Healthier teeth can lead to a brighter smile and more smiling puts you and the people around you in a happier mood.

Below are 8 resolutions that are great for your teeth and can improve your oral health. Try picking one for “2016” and let us know how it goes!

What is the best mouthwash?

Published on November 12, 2015 by

 

Taking care of your oral health involves a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent tooth decay and bacterial infections. Though you may have asked us which toothbrush to use, few patients ask about mouthwash. However, different mouthwashes you might choose will have varying effects on your oral health. So which type is best for you?

Gum Health

Antiseptic mouthwashes are designed to reduce the majority of bacteria on and near the gum line. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help decrease your chances of developing gingivitis. If possible, look for a mouthwash with antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients.

Fluoride

Fluoride is beneficial for oral health and can help prevent tooth decay. If you drink a lot of bottled water without fluoride, we may recommend that you purchase a rinse with fluoride in it.

Bad Breath

Although mouthwash is designed to prevent bacterial build-up within the mouth, many people use it to combat bad breath. Most mouthwashes will help eliminate the bacteria that cause bad breath, and some are specifically designed to do so. However, if bad breath is a chronic problem that requires daily treatment with a mouth rinse, contact our office to discuss your symptoms.

Considerations

If you are unsure as to which mouthwash is right for you, contact our office or ask our dentist or dental hygienist at your next appointment. Also, be sure to keep mouthwash out of the reach of children, as it contains alcohol and other substances that could be harmful to them.

Bridge verses Crown

Published on October 19, 2015 by

If you have teeth that are cracked or decayed beyond repair, you might be wondering what you can do to regain your smile. The answer is probably in crowns and bridges.

What Is a Dental Crown? Called a crown because it sits atop the original tooth, a dental crown is a cap that goes over the decayed or injured tooth. It is essentially a hallowed-out tooth-shaped cover that protects the tooth from further damage and helps to hold it together. It is often placed after a root canal as well as added protection.

There is no reason to fear getting a crown. They are long-lasting, painless, and look completely natural. After the tooth is shaped to fit the cap, the crown is cemented onto the original tooth, providing a strong and long-lasting base. It is customized to look exactly like your own teeth and is perfectly fitted, sized, and colored. Your mouth will both look and feel better.

Sometimes, a crown might be needed even on a healthy tooth, especially if you need a dental bridge.

What Is a Dental Bridge? If you have a huge gap in your mouth left by one or more missing teeth, you need to close it. Not only will you be able to eat and speak better, but if you don’t fill in the gap, your other teeth will start to shift, causing misalignment problems.

One of the ways to fix this is a dental bridge. Like the name suggests, this is done by building a bridge of teeth across the gap. Your dentist will form false teeth to fill the gap, based on your personal mouth and needs. However, there will be an extra tooth or two on each side of the bridge. These are actually just crowns that will anchor the bridge in place.

A bridge will be placed by fitting a crown on either side and sliding the bridge down into the gap. If everything fits properly, it will then be cemented in place, leaving you with a natural-looking smile again.

Waking Up With Jaw Pain???

Published on September 24, 2015 by

If you are waking up with jaw pain, tension headaches, or facial pain, you may be suffering from a condition known as bruxism. This means you could be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. Some people aren’t even aware they are grinding or clenching their teeth at night, until a visit to us reveals significant tooth enamel loss. Fortunately, there is a non-invasive and effective solution for teeth grinding, and the tooth enamel damage it can cause, in custom-fabricated nightguards.

Causes of teeth grinding

Tension, stress, and anxiety experienced during the daytime can carry over to an individual’s sleep, and lead the person to grind his or her teeth together or clench the teeth unknowingly. Sleep apnea is another condition that can result in bruxism. Regardless of the cause, however, frequent clenching and teeth grinding wears down the chewing surfaces of the teeth, reduces tooth enamel, and can result in a cracked or chipped tooth, crown, or filling.

Nightguards for teeth grinding

Custom nightguards are fabricated to fit like a glove and protect your teeth from the adverse effects of bruxism. Nightguards are created through a non-invasive process that simply takes an impression of the bottom and top rows of teeth. The result is a nightguard that is flexible, comfortable, and personalized to your mouth.

Benefits of nightguards

Nightguards are helpful to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of dental damage incurred as a result of teeth grinding. They can reduce the discomfort associated with a sore jaw, headaches, tooth sensitivity, ear pain, and facial pain that many patients experience as a result of clenching or grinding of their teeth. In severe cases of bruxism, patients can develop loss of hearing, jawbone misalignment, and TMJ. Therefore, customized nightguards can help prevent the progression of teeth grinding into these more serious conditions.

At-home tips to reduce or prevent teeth grinding

Although it’s important to wear your nightguard faithfully if you grind your teeth at night, you can follow a few self-care tips to help to prevent your teeth grinding from worsening.

  • Reduce tension and stress. Whether you take a warm bath before bed, listen to soothing music, or exercise, practice stress-relieving activities to wash away the tensions of the day.
  • Avoid alcohol. In some patients, alcohol increases teeth grinding tendencies.
  • Avoid caffeine. In some individuals, caffeine increases the likelihood of teeth grinding.
  • Focus on relaxing jaw muscles. Make a conscious effort to keep your jaw relaxed. A warm washcloth against your cheek, sticking your tongue between your teeth, and avoiding chewing pencils, pens, and gum are all ways to train the muscles of your jaw to stay relaxed.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth at night, schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Idiculla.

What Are My Gums Telling Me?

Published on September 21, 2015 by

Taking care of your gums is an extremely important part of your dental health. If you notice any of these red flags below, be sure to visit your dentist soon.

Swelling, redness, or puffiness: These are usually signs of inflammation and may possibly be an early indicator of gingivitis (gum disease). It can also be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection or may be caused by changes in hormones.

Receding gum line: Gum recession happens when the gum tissue wears away, exposing more of the tooth and sometimes even the root. Receding gums can be caused by gum disease, but it can also occur from brushing too hard, hormonal changes or even from grinding or clenching your teeth.

Bleeding: Bleeding gums are never normal and are also a sign of gum disease or brushing too hard. If you just started flossing, your gums may bleed a little at first but the bleeding should stop after about a week. Taking blood thinners may also cause your gums to bleed.

Many gum issues are a symptom of gum disease. It’s important to see your dentist so the cause can be treated before it advances.

Wisdom Teeth

Published on September 4, 2015 by

 

When your wisdom teeth start to emerge it can definitely be painful, but it can be even worse if your wisdom teeth become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are trying to erupt but are unable to do so because there is not sufficient room for them to emerge. This usually means that your wisdom teeth are painfully lodged in your jawbone.

While you may not see any real signs of the emerging wisdom teeth when they are impacted, what you cannot see can still definitely hurt you. Some of the indicators of impacted wisdom teeth are listed below.

  • Jaw Pain: Pain in the back of your jaw is a common indicator of impacted wisdom teeth. The pain often concentrates in the area around your gums.
  • Changes in the Mouth: You may notice some changes in your mouth when you have impacted wisdom teeth. Reddish gums, swelling in the jaw, bleeding gums, and bad breath can all be indicators that you are dealing with impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Headaches: If you suddenly start having headaches, especially at the same time as some of the other issues mentioned above, they may indicate impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Chewing Issues: Problems with chewing normally can indicate impacted wisdom teeth. If you are having trouble making the chewing motions because your mouth won’t quite open and close as easily as it used to, impacted wisdom teeth may be the culprit.

If you are suffering from impacted wisdom teeth, the best solution is usually going to be removal. This is not a problem that will resolve naturally, and in fact, your pain and other symptoms may worsen as your wisdom teeth become increasingly impacted. Dr. Idiculla can review the details of wisdom teeth removal surgery with you and help you determine if this is the best solution for your situation.

Wisdom Teeth

Published on August 27, 2015 by

When your wisdom teeth start to emerge it can definitely be painful, but it can be even worse if your wisdom teeth become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are trying to erupt but are unable to do so because there is not sufficient room for them to emerge. This usually means that your wisdom teeth are painfully lodged in your jawbone.

While you may not see any real signs of the emerging wisdom teeth when they are impacted, what you can’t see can still definitely hurt you. Some of the indicators of impacted wisdom teeth are listed below.

  • Jaw Pain: Pain in the back of your jaw is a common indicator of impacted wisdom teeth. The pain often concentrates in the area around your gums.
  • Changes in the Mouth: You may notice some changes in your mouth when you have impacted wisdom teeth. Reddish gums, swelling in the jaw, bleeding gums, and bad breath can all be indicators that you are dealing with impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Headaches: If you suddenly start having headaches, especially at the same time as some of the other issues mentioned above, they may indicate impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Chewing Issues: Problems with chewing normally can indicate impacted wisdom teeth. If you are having trouble making the chewing motions because your mouth won’t quite open and close as easily as it used to, impacted wisdom teeth may be the culprit.

If you are suffering from impacted wisdom teeth, the best solution is usually going to be removal. This is not a problem that will resolve naturally, and in fact, your pain and other symptoms may worsen as your wisdom teeth become increasingly impacted. Dr. Idiculla can review the details of wisdom teeth removal surgery with you and help you determine if this is the best solution for your situation.

Prevent Decay with Dental Sealants

Published on August 7, 2015 by

 

What are dental sealants?

Made of plastic, dental sealants applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect tooth enamel from decay-causing bacteria and acids. These sealants fit perfectly into the depression and groves (pits and fissures) of your children’s teeth, protecting them from decay.

When should dental sealants be applied?

Decay can begin early in life, so children should receive sealants on permanent molars as soon as they erupt – around age 6 for first molars and age 12 for second molars.

Will my insurance pay for sealants?

Dental insurance typically will pay for sealants for children and teenagers’ permanent molars.  Be sure to check with your dental insurance company about your plan, as coverage does vary.