Posts for: May, 2020
The Golden Globes ceremony is a night when Hollywood stars shine their brightest. At the recent red-carpet event, leading man Viggo Mortensen had plenty to smile about: Green Book, the movie in which he co-starred, picked up the award for Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy. But fans looking at the veteran actor's big smile today might not realize that it once looked very different. A few years ago, an accident during the filming of The Two Towers took a major chip out of Mortensen's front tooth!
That might be OK for some movies (think The Hangover or Dumb and Dumber)—but it's not so great for everyday life. Fortunately, Mortensen visited a dentist promptly, and now his smile is picture-perfect. How was that accomplished? He didn't say…but generally, the best treatment for a chipped tooth depends on how much of the tooth's structure is missing.
If the tooth has only a small chip or crack, it's often possible to restore it via cosmetic bonding. This procedure can be done right in the dental office, frequently in a single visit. Here's how it works: First the tooth is cleaned and prepared, and then a tooth-colored resin is applied to the area being restored. After it is cured (hardened) with a special light, additional layers may be applied to build up the missing structure. When properly cared for, a tooth restored this way can look good for several years.
For a longer-lasting restoration, veneers may be recommended. These are wafer-thin shells made of durable material (most often porcelain) that cover the front (visible) surfaces of teeth. Strong and lifelike, veneers can match the exact color of your natural teeth—or give you the bright, high-wattage smile you've always wanted. No wonder they're so popular in Hollywood! Because veneers are custom-made for you, getting them may require several office visits.
If a chip or crack extends to the inner pulp of the tooth, a root canal procedure will be needed to keep the tooth from becoming infected—a situation that could have serious consequences. But you shouldn't fear a root canal! The procedure generally causes no more discomfort than filling a cavity (though it takes a little longer), and it can help save teeth that would otherwise be lost. After a root canal, a crown (cap) is generally needed to restore the visible part of the tooth.
When a damaged tooth can't be restored, it needs to be extracted (removed) and replaced. Today's best option for tooth replacement is a dental implant—a small, screw-shaped post inserted into the bone of your jaw that anchors a lifelike, fully functional crown. Implants require very little special care and can look great for many years, making them a top choice for tooth replacement
If you have questions about chipped or damaged teeth, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”
What does it take to have healthy teeth and gums? There are many recommendations, but all of them would suggest practicing proper preventive care and maintaining oral care habits. Besides visits to your dentist here at Progressive Dental Group in Novi, MI, Dr. David Salah, here are some things you can do at home to have sound preventive oral care habits.
Regular Brushing and Flossing
The whole point of brushing your teeth is to clean your mouth of food debris and bacteria while maintaining its overall health. Brushing regularly in a relaxed manner would ensure that you do not damage the enamel of your teeth or even your gums. You should use smooth circular motions to cover all quadrants of your mouth.
The entire brushing process should not take less than two minutes. Floss afterward to remove the plaque and bacteria that may still be left between your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, a soft-bristle toothbrush would be ideal. Replace your toothbrush every quarter as well to maintain its efficiency.
Wash with Mouthwash
Although it is easier and cheaper to simply rinse with tap water, using mouthwash presents some unique oral health benefits:
- The antibacterial agent chlorhexidine
- Controls plaque buildup
- Prevents gingivitis
- Has essential oils
- Leaves fresher feeling in the mouth
- Helps with bad breath
Scheduled Dental Visits
It does not matter if you have natural teeth or just dentures. Regular, scheduled visits to your dentist in Novi, MI, is an essential part of preventive oral care. These visits usually entail a cleaning and general checkup for early detection of possible dental problems.
Recommended frequency varies, but ideally, it should not be less than twice a year. This is considered the optimum balance in terms of protection and risk reduction of dental caries. Your dentist can tailor-fit a schedule that would be best for your current dental health condition.
Wise and healthy eating benefits your oral and overall health. In terms of preventive care and oral care habits this means:
- Limiting sugary food and drinks
- Lowering your caffeine consumption
- Consuming more crunchy fruits and vegetables
- Drinking more water
- Limiting alcoholic drinks
The CDC also cites some factors that could likewise help improve oral health:
- Keep lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease under control
- Maintain a healthy blood sugar level
- Replace medication that causes dry mouth
- Avoid smoking, which impacts the immune system and leads to yellowish teeth and tongue
All of these could help you build preventive care and oral care habits. Remember to visit your dentist immediately if you experience unusual dental problems.
Need More Oral Health Advice? Call Us
Dial (248) 349-7560 to arrange an appointment with our dentist, Dr. David Salah, here at Progressive Dental Group in Novi, MI.
We all need a good night's sleep, both in quantity and quality. That's why the Better Sleep Council promotes Better Sleep Month every May with helpful tips on making sure you're not only getting enough sleep, but that it's also restful and therapeutic. The latter is crucial, especially if you have one problem that can diminish sleep quality: nocturnal teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding is the involuntary movement of the jaws outside of normal functioning like eating or speaking. You unconsciously grind teeth against teeth, increasing the pressure of biting forces beyond their normal range. It can occur while awake, but it is more common during sleep.
The habit is fairly widespread in children, thought to result from an immature chewing mechanism. Children normally outgrow the habit, and most healthcare providers don't consider it a major concern.
But teeth grinding can also carry over or arise in adulthood, fueled in large part by stress. It then becomes concerning: Chronic teeth grinding can accelerate normal age-related tooth wear and weaken or damage teeth or dental work. It may also contribute to jaw joint pain and dysfunction related to temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
If you notice frequent jaw tenderness or pain, or a family member says they've heard you grind your teeth at night, you should see us for a full examination. If you are diagnosed with teeth grinding, we can consider different means to bring it under control, depending on your case's severity and underlying causes.
Here are some things you can do:
Alter lifestyle habits. Alcohol and tobacco use have been associated with teeth grinding. To reduce episodes of nighttime teeth grinding, consider modifying (or, as with tobacco, stopping) your use of these and related substances. Altering your lifestyle in this way will likely also improve your overall health.
Manage stress. Teeth grinding can be a way the body “lets off steam” from the accumulated stress of difficult life situations. You may be able to reduce it through better stress management. Learn and practice stress reduction techniques like meditation or other forms of relaxation. You may also find counseling, biofeedback or group therapy beneficial.
Seek dental solutions. In severe cases, there are possible dental solutions to reducing the biting forces generated by teeth grinding. One way is to adjust the bite by removing some of the structure from teeth that may be more prominent than others. We may also be able to create a bite guard to wear at night that prevents teeth from making solid contact with each other.
These and other techniques can be used individually or together to create a customized treatment plan just for you. Minimizing teeth grinding will help ensure you're getting the most out of your sleep time, while protecting your dental health too.