Over the past year, some dental offices have been reporting higher rates of cracked teeth than in years’ past. Take this dentist’s experience documented in the New York Times for example. So, is there some weird connection between COVID-19 and cracked teeth? Well, kind of. While cracked teeth are not directly related to the virus they can be an unwanted side effect of the stress caused by the pandemic. As we all know, stress can affect our health in many ways, and your dentist in Lawrenceville wants you to know that your oral health is no exception.
Stress can put us at increased risk for heart disease, digestive problems, and can even reduce the effectiveness of our immune systems, which is the opposite of what we want nowadays. When we are stressed out, our bodies also respond with subconscious reactions such as increased sweating, rapid heart rate, and the inability to concentrate. Another common reaction that many of us experience, but may not even be aware of, is clenching or grinding our teeth.
Repeatedly squeezing or grinding our top teeth against our bottom teeth puts unnatural pressure on the teeth themselves, as well as the jaw joint. When this happens a lot, like during periods when you’re more stressed than normal, it can increase the likelihood of tooth damage such as cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. It can also cause jaw muscles to become sore and may even lead to TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. While your dentist in Lawrenceville can help fix any tooth damage that may occur and may even be able to help relieve TMJ pain, it’s best to try to avoid those problems in the first place.
Gum disease is usually associated with poor oral health, ineffective oral hygiene habits, or a result of tobacco use. But long periods of high stress levels can also increase the risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease is a serious condition that requires an early diagnosis and treatment to keep it from progressing into an irreversible problem. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and increase the risk of other whole-body health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, and some cancers. Keep an eye out for some of the common signs of gum disease including:
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Lawrenceville.
Keep Calm & Stay Healthy
It’s only natural to feel stressed out occasionally, and more so in today’s uncertain world. But to protect your health and smile, try to keep stress levels in check and use stress-reduction techniques such as:
- Sleeping. Getting 8 hours of sleep a night is an important part of staying healthy as it gives your body time to recover.
- Meditating. Mediating can lower heart rate and, in turn, stress levels. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and feel the stress melt away.
- Exercising. Increasing your heart rate (in a good way) through exercise can release endorphins and make you feel happier and less stressed out.
Finding the right stress-reduction technique can take some trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Whatever works for you, stick to it to help manage your stress and protect your health.
Your Lawrenceville dentist knows what it’s like to lose a tooth. Sometimes there’s a little pain. Sometimes you might feel embarrassed. Sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time and then “smack” your tooth gets knocked out. Trust us when we say it happens (and it’s probably more than you think).
What Are Some Common Tooth Replacement Options?
We get excited about dentistry because there’s so much state-of-the-art, advanced technology available today to make getting the care you need more comfortable and less time-consuming. It’s important to call your dentist in Lawrenceville as soon as you lose a tooth. If you’ve been missing one (or a few) for a while, that’s ok, too! We’re here to help.
One of the coolest, most innovative ways you can replace a missing tooth is to use a dental implant.
- How Can a Dental Implant Help Me? – A dental implant is a life-changing restoration that actually behaves like your missing tooth’s natural roots and functions just like a real tooth. It also helps keep your jaw bone healthy since it provides regular stimulation. Your dentist will first place the implant and then create a custom, tooth-colored crown that will be placed on top. The crown is shaded to look like your other teeth so nobody will even know it’s there. If taken care of properly, dental implants can last many years if not a lifetime.
Sometimes a missing tooth or even multiple teeth can be easily fixed with something called a dental bridge. We can craft a custom restoration that blends seamlessly with your natural teeth and fills in the gaps all at the same time.
- How Can a Dental Bridge Help Me? – A dental bridge can help fill gaps left behind by a missing tooth or teeth to give you a full smile. Bridges are usually made from two or more crowns that again are shaded to match your natural look. The restoration is then anchored to nearby teeth to hold them in place. Essentially, the dental bridge is bridging the gap. Sometimes bridges can be supported by dental implants depending on your individual case and desire.
If you’re missing multiple teeth, there might be some benefit to you speaking to us about dentures. They can be expertly crafted to fit your mouth and take years off of your appearance.
- How Can Dentures Help Me? Dentures can be used to replace both upper and lower missing teeth. They’re created to be aesthetically and naturally pleasing, so no one will even know they’re not your real teeth. There are plenty of options to choose from, so it’s important to learn about your options and pick what works best for you and your busy lifestyle.
We understand what it’s like to be missing a tooth or several teeth. There are options that can help. Call our dental office in Lawrenceville to schedule a consultation and together, we can create a plan for your treatment that works for your budget, your schedule, and your smile.
Our dental office in Lawrenceville understands that losing or breaking a filling can be scary. It may even be a a little painful. But many times a lost filling isn’t a dental emergency. However, with that said, it’s still important to treat it appropriately and in a timely manner. We’re here to walk you through the steps you should take if you do lose a filling and what you can do to help protect yourself.
- Pick Up the Phone
The very first thing you should do if you lose or break a filling is call your dentist in Lawrenceville. Explain what happened, any symptoms you have, and if you’re in any pain. Sometimes our dental office has appointments available and may be able to see you the same day. If not, make sure you get the earliest appointment possible. If left untreated, a lost filling can result in more decay and damage.
During the appointment your dental team will examine the area and check for any other damage. They’ll then make a recommendation for the best treatment for you. Treatment may be another filling or it could be a dental crown. If the area is large, a crown is usually the treatment of choice.
- Take it Easy
While you’re waiting for your appointment you should try your best to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the filling once was. This can help keep food and bacteria out of the space left by the filling.
- Clean it Well, Clean it Often
After you do eat, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to rinse away any lingering food particles. You can also gently brush the area with a toothbrush if it doesn’t cause pain.
- Take Some Medicine
Pain reliever can work wonders in relieving any sensitivity or discomfort that may come along with losing a filling. Use what typically works best for you and follow the dosage instructions on the label.
- Try Temporary Filler
Many pharmacies carry temporary filling material made with zinc oxide. Using this to block up the gap in your tooth will not only help keep food out, but can ease pain too. Just remember that this is a temporary fix.
Even though dental fillings are incredibly strong and can last for years, sometimes things happen that can cause them to fall out. If this happens, don’t wait to call our Lawrenceville dental office to schedule an appointment.
Food is such an important part of our lives. Not only is it crucial for our health, it’s historically pretty important for our relationships too. We meet friends over dinner, we snack on the couch with loved ones while watching a movie, and we even join blind dates for a cup coffee. At our dental office in Lawrenceville, we understand the importance of food and really enjoying what you eat. But we also know how some foods can damage teeth. For this blog, we’ve compiled some of the top types of food that are the worst for teeth.
- Biscotti – This Italian treat is known for its hard, crunchy texture which is why it’s usually eaten after being dunked in a beverage. However, this difficult to bite biscuit can cause cracks or chips if it’s too hard.
- Popcorn – A movie watching favorite, the dangers of popcorn lurks in the often unseen kernels. A quick, hard bite onto one of these hard kernels can chip teeth or destroy restorations.
- Pitted Treats – Snacks like olives sometimes contain a hidden pit. Again, like the culprits above, an accidental nibble of a pit can cause some serious tooth damage.
- Chewy Candy – Candy in general is typically bad news, but chewy ones can be the worst of all. Due its sticky nature, the sugar-loaded sweet is left clinging to teeth for prolonged periods of time and it can also dislodge fillings.
- Ice Cubes – These frozen cubes of water can be used to chill a beverage or even for an injury, but they shouldn’t be eaten. Hard ice can not only break teeth, they also create tiny cracks that leave the enamel open to bacteria and, in turn, cavities.
- Bones – While we don’t tend to choose bones to eat or to gnaw on, they are found in several foods. Some bones are easy to see and we can usually avoid those, but some bones aren’t noticed until it’s too late. Be cautious when eating stews, certain types of fish, or chicken.
While we’d love our patients to avoid these foods altogether in order to greatly reduce the risk of dental damage, we understand that’s unrealistic. Instead, we’d be happy if they just used a bit of caution while enjoying the treats above. More importantly, if something were to happen while chowing down, we want to encourage them to schedule an appointment at our dental office in Lawrenceville as soon as possible. The sooner we can evaluate and treat any damage, the less likely there will be additional issues.
Accepting patients from Lawrenceville, Hamilton, and surrounding areas.