Sometimes we get aches and pains throughout our body, and that signals something is wrong,so we slow down and fix the issue. For example, if we get a cramp, it's signaling that we are overdoing the strenuous workout and need to rest and hydrate. It is the same with our teeth!
Early signs of having a cavity can be from mild pain to no pain at all, which make it hard to detect. Of course, any pain signals to you that something is wrong, like when you bite down there’s pain or there is a sharp, spontaneous pain in your tooth. However, the pain would be constant, from eating, talking, to doing absolutely nothing at all.
Besides pain, there are visible markers that indicate a cavity is coming.
Holes or pits in the tooth
Black, brown, or white staining on the surface of the tooth
Unfortunately, there is no natural home remedy to get rid of the cavity on its own. The best way is to consult your dentist on the best treatment option for you. As long as we catch it early, the easiest fix is with a composite filling. However, the longer you wait the more the bacteria goes deeper into the tooth and worsen the damage, all the way to the root of the tooth. After the treatment, it is best to discuss preventative measures to keep the cavities from occurring again and the possibility of spreading.
So let’s beat that by visiting your dentist at least twice a year for your bi annual cleaning and exam, so we can make sure that your smile is in tip top shape!
Do you ever feel like your jaw is in pain or sore when you wake up in the morning? It is possible that it comes from teeth grinding throughout the night. Don’t worry though, many people are affected by teeth grinding, let's talk about why and how to fix it!
With teeth grinding, it gradually wears down your teeth that can cause damage to the underlying bone structure or even break the tooth. At your regular dental appointments, your dentist would check for the signs of grinding such as tenderness in your jaw muscles, obvious abnormalities, and will take x-rays to see if it has reached underneath.
Depending on how severe the case is, there are several different ways to treat it. Some children outgrow the grinding as they get older, but if it persists a great cost effective alternative may be a mouthguard. It will take some time for you to get used to since you would be sleeping in it, however it would protect those nice strong teeth! If the wear down has gotten very severe then a solution would be dental treatments of crowns to repair the damage.
A great way to understand the source of your teeth grinding is to think about any stress triggers or possible behavioral changes that initiate it. If it is stress induced, learn strategies to promote relaxation and ease your mind into a stress free slumber. If it is due to behavior or habit, ask your dentist for the best mouth and jaw position and practice to get your structure used to it and decline the teeth grinding.
If you are still unsure what is the best method for you, just contact your dentist and they will be happy to help!
We talked about a composite filling last time, so let’s discuss another option for fillings, amalgam. The more common term for amalgam fillings are known as the “silver teeth”. Most dental offices no longer provide amalgam fillings as an option due to the material that it was made from, such as a mixture of mercury, silver, copper, tin, and zinc.
Amalgam fillings tend to be the more cost effective way to treat cavities but due to the material it can cause a slightly higher mercy level in your blood or urine, but usually remain at a level considered safe.
Studies on people with dental amalgam do not show conclusive evidence that causes harmful health effects in the general population, however small amounts of mercury in the form of a vapor (gas) may be released and can be harmful in certain patients.
People who should be concerned about the effects of amalgam would be women who are pregnant or plan to be, nursing mothers, children under the age of 6, people with neurological impairment/kidney dysfunction, or sensitive to mercury or other components in the material of the amalgam.
Composite fillings are more known and widely used today in replacement of amalgam. If you currently have any dental amalgam, you can always consider and ask your dentist if it is necessary to replace it, but if there is no decay underneath it can be discouraged to be removed. Removal when not needed can cause loss of healthy tooth structure or possibly releasing more mercury gas.
Be sure to always consult with your dentist and discuss all your treatment plan options before deciding what is the best route for you. The explanation of the procedures, materials used, and your health history can really have a big impact for your dental hygiene future.
After your dental checkup, sometimes a dental treatment plan is presented to you in regards to what your next steps should be to help your smile. Some of those dental recommendations can be about composite fillings. But what is a composite filling?
Composite fillings are usually recommended when your teeth have been decayed or damaged, and it is also used to replace broken teeth. It is tooth colored, so it can best match your teeth and look as natural as possible.
The resin used for the fillings provides good durability and resistance to fracture and can handle pressure from the constant stress of chewing. Most composite fillings last about 5- 7 years, sometimes replacements are needed but not all the time. This depends on the natural wear and tear of your teeth depending on your dental hygiene and as well as what you eat or drink.
This is the recommendation over an amalgam filling, also known as the silver teeth, some of us may have had as kids. Amalgam fillings may contain mercury, which is not something we would want in our body at all. Amalgam fillings have not been the standard for a while now and we are glad that technology as improved over the years to help educate and enhance dentistry.
Of course, the best filling is no filling at all, so remember that prevention is key. Keep up with your dental hygiene and get your bi annual dental check ups to get cleanings and dental advice on what is best for your smile.