Kissimmee Family Dentistry
People often wonder, “How does a tooth get to the point of infection?”
It’s a common misconception that teeth are not alive. That belief leads to confusion about how teeth become infected. Because you can’t “feel” the part that you can see (the crown), many people think that their teeth are not alive. Yet, the opposite is true. Most of the material that makes up your teeth is, in fact, made of living cells. Since the material is alive, it makes a great hosting site for bacterial infections!
Similar to hair and fingernails, there is a part of your teeth that is not alive – it is the outermost part, called “enamel”. This is the hard, white part that you can see. It is made of calcium phosphate, a very hard mineral that is perfect for breaking down food when you eat. Underneath that enamel, however, is where all of the live action happens!
Starting on the outside and working our way in, we find dentin (alive), and then the pulp cavity and root canal, through which nerves and blood vessels flow.
Generally speaking, if the enamel is intact, bacteria cannot get through to the pulp to cause problems. However, if there is a crack in the outer part of the tooth due to injury or decay, this creates a pathway for bacteria to enter into the innermost part of the tooth (the pulp cavity and canal) causing infection of the living tissue.
That is when endodontic treatment becomes essential! The only way to remove the infected material is manually, by accessing the canal itself, irrigating and then filling, or closing off access, to the inside of the tooth again.
Apr 22nd, 2015 7:00 am
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And to a certain extent that assumption is true. For most people with braces of any type, the primary goal of straightening their teeth is improving their look. But did you know that there are actually added health benefits to having a straighter smile as well?
Here, we outline just a few reasons, outside of the obvious aesthetic benefits, that invisible braces can help you:
- Periodontal Health: Overcrowded teeth can result in swollen, red, irritated gums. More often than not, these symptoms are the result of periodontal disease. Braces help to straighten and evenly space teeth to allow for enhanced gum health.
- Better Cleaning Access: Because the clear teeth aligners are removable, you can do a better job of brushing and flossing your teeth, just as you would without braces. By contrast, traditional metal braces limit access to the surfaces and in-between areas of teeth, making it difficult to maintain a good brushing and flossing routine.
- Healthy Diet: Invisible braces are removable, which means that there are no restrictions to what you eat. This allows you to continue your healthy eating habits just as if you didn’t have braces at all. With traditional metal wires and braces, however, some people fall into the trap of eating only soft foods and thus miss out on much-needed nutrients.
- Overall Health: Because oral infections are thought to be related to other health issues in the body such as an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, keeping your teeth properly spaced and straightened is an important first step toward better health throughout your body.
Allow us to enhance your smile both aesthetically and from an oral health standpoint as well with invisible braces!
Mar 25th, 2015 8:00 am
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Over the last decade, at-home tooth whitening systems have become more abundant, more varied, and more affordable. A quick walk through your local drug store is all you need to do to know that there is an endless supply of teeth bleaching treatments that you can do at home to achieve a whiter smile.
You may be wondering, “If it’s so easy to access these products in a store, why would I want to spend the time and money to have my teeth whitened in my dentist’s office?”
Here are the top five reasons that we recommend that you come see us first if you are interested in whitening your smile:
- Whiter whitening: Over the counter bleaching products can only contain 10% peroxide, while our in-office treatments can contain 25-40% peroxide, offering a whiter white!
- Quicker: The higher concentration of peroxide combined with other safety and acceleration tools like lasers allow us to whiten your teeth much more quickly than can be done at home.
- Fewer Side Effects: At home, some people experience damage to the tooth or surrounding gum area when whitening their teeth, causing pain or sensitivity. By contrast, in the office, we have access to preventative tools that can protect your gums and teeth from damage from bleaching.
- Always Examine First! It is always wise to have an oral exam prior to your whitening procedure, as we can detect potential problems, areas that are prone to sensitivity, and even help you choose your best path to a whiter smile.
- Best of Both Worlds: If you still want to try at-home treatments, give us a call. We can send you home with approved whitening treatments to give you the protection, convenience and the whiter smile that you desire.
Mar 11th, 2015 8:00 am
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Fact: 51 million school hours are lost annually due to kids with dental related illnesses.
When you combine these two facts, you would think that it is easy for the professional dental community to explain to kids and parents why oral hygiene is so important. Yet, we still have a long way to go when it comes to getting this message across properly!
Although the teeth are, without a doubt, part of the body, they have perhaps not been given the respect that they deserve during the childhood years.
It is understandable that, in times past, when a child was young, it seemed pointless to take care of their “baby” teeth, as they were going to fall out anyway.
>>Yet we now know that it is essential to take care of so-called baby teeth and even the gums before teeth erupt to ensure a life of good oral health.
As parents, we have all had those mornings and nights where asking our child to brush his or her teeth turned into a battle at best, and a tantrum at worst! So, understandably, we frequently backed down or even “forgot” to make them do it. >>But those moments of “forgetfulness” add up very quickly at this age and can cause decay that turns into cavities, abscesses and root damage in the near future.
If you are lucky, your teen will be more than willing to keep up on proper tooth brushing habits out of fear of teasing and other uncomfortable social situations. However this is not true for all teens.
>>This is the age where oral hygiene is even more important, catching any cavities before they turn into bigger problems. Also, if your teen has braces, they need extra care to keep the mouth in tiptop shape!
So please help us spread the word! Teeth are not a part of the body that can be ignored – they are the window to your body and overall health. The earlier that you set those good oral hygiene habits, the better oral health results you will see as your child grows up!
Feb 25th, 2015 8:00 am
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In our practice, you may have heard us refer to those nasty “sugar bugs”, the bacterial villains that cause tooth decay, feeding off of sugar in your child’s mouth! This is a great, fun way to get the message across to kids that oral hygiene habits are important! Similarly, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (mychildrensteeth.org) uses the term “Mouth Monsters” to refer to these same bacteria that cause decay of the teeth!
So whether you call them “Sugar Bugs” or “Mouth Monsters”, here are some additional handy tips for teaching your kids about their oral health:
- Keep it Fun: Keeping if fun makes it more, well, fun! And it also keeps the battle out of the brushing routine. If your child associates tooth-brushing time with battle-with-mom-and-dad time, they are less likely to follow through with the activity, and so are you. Keep things light and fun if you are doing the brushing yourself. And if your child is old enough to brush on his own, give him the space to do so (standing there watching over only gives the battle more attention).
- Visual Appeal: Keep the bathroom area kid-friendly. Brightly colored tooth brushes, paint and maybe even a fun tooth-fact or window decal on the mirror will entice them to spend their 2 minutes in there, giving them something to look at while they brush.
- Charts: A chart right there in the bathroom helps to set good oral hygiene habits early on. A reward could be something as simple as a new toothbrush!
Need more ideas? Give us a call to find out how we can help you keep your child on the path toward great oral health!
Feb 11th, 2015 8:00 am
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Did you know that poor oral hygiene could increase your chances of developing heart disease? Practicing good oral health habits isn’t just an important part of preventing tooth decay; it’s crucial in maintaining your overall health. But how are heart disease and oral health connected? What we’ve come to understand is that bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream and attach to blood vessels, which can increase clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart and in turn cause an elevation in blood pressure thus increasing the risk of a heart attack.
We can help patients who have a history of heart disease by examining them for any signs of oral pain, infection or inflammation. Brushing and flossing combined with annual check-ups will help to fight the harmful bacteria that cause inflammation and eventually lead to heart disease. Check out these oral hygiene facts and make sure to establish a routine to ensure a great smile and a healthy life.
According to the American Dental Hygienists Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Eating healthy snacks like celery, carrots, or apples help clear away food loosely trapped in-between teeth.
- The leading oral health problem for infants is baby bottle tooth decay, which can be caused when babies are given a bottle filled with sugary liquids, like milk or juice, when put to bed.
- Nearly 78% of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17.
- Men are more likely than women to have more severe dental diseases and oral cancer occurs twice as frequently in men as women.
- Dental fluorosis (overexposure to fluoride) is higher in teens than in adults and highest among those aged 12–15.
- Three out of four patients don’t change their toothbrush as often as is recommended. Toothbrushes should be changed every two to three months and after illnesses.
Issues that go untreated can end up costing a lot more than routine visits to your dentist. Prevention through daily cleaning and regular office visits is the best for both your health and your budget. Remember, regardless of how old you are, it’s never too late to start taking serious care of your teeth and mouth.
Jan 28th, 2015 8:00 am
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One of the most common questions we hear from patients when it comes to dental implants is “Why does it take three separate procedures?”
It helps to understand that within the entire dental implant process, there are not just three stages, there are also three important parts to the final product that replaces your tooth. First, there is the implant itself, which is the metal rod that we surgically implant into the bone. Next, there is the abutment, which connects the implant to the artificial tooth. And lastly, the crown (or prosthetic tooth) itself.
The fact that the process has three physical components alone doesn’t tell the whole story though. Here, we explain why the most commonly employed dental implant method is split up into three separate procedures.
Step One: Placing the Implant
The first stage of the dental implant process is to bury the implant in the jaw bone via a surgical procedure. The dental implant replaces the tooth root, and requires healing time. During this healing time, osseointegration (the integration of the bone with the implant itself) occurs. The bone cells actually attach to the implant rod, filling in the spaces to secure the implant in place for permanent residency. The healing time usually takes from 3-6 months.
Step Two: Placing the Abutment
The abutment is a post that connects the implant to the prosthetic tooth. Essentially, the abutment is a bridge that spans through the gum line so that the implant itself remains buried. As with the implant, the abutment has a healing period of its own. The gum around the abutment must heal and form a cuff or collar around it before the crown can be placed.
Step Three: The Prosthetic Tooth
Once the implant site and abutment have successfully integrated, the prosthetic tooth is fabricated and installed.
If you have any questions about the dental implant process, give us a call!
Jan 14th, 2015 8:00 am
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Dec 10th, 2014 3:26 pm
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