October 9, 2014
If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’re not alone. Many adults currently have some form of the disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that can result in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be checked out by Dr. Tillman and our hygienists. At your next dental visit the hygienist can check your gums for signs. They will also ask about your medical history to identify underlying conditions or risk factors (such as smoking) that may contribute to gum disease.
Whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day, from this point forward. Dr. Tillman recommends keeping up with your routine exams and cleanings to help prevent and catch early signs of periodontal issues.
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July 11, 2014
- Teeth start to form even before birth. Milk teeth, or baby teeth, start to form when a baby is in the womb, but teeth don’t begin to show until a child is between six and twelve months old.
- No two people have the same set of teeth—your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint, so be proud of your unique set of teeth.
- Say Cheese! The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese is healthy or your teeth – it reduces the pH level in plaque and re-mineralizes the enamel.
- The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough saliva to fill 2 swimming pools!
- Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30 teeth, pigs have 44 teeth, and an armadillo has 104 teeth.
- Many diseases are linked to your oral health, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
- The plaque found in your teeth is home to more than 300 different species of bacteria. Listerine, anyone?
- In Medieval Germany, the only cure for a toothache was to kiss a donkey.
- The average woman smiles about 62 times per day! A man? Only 8.
- 50% of people surveyed say that a person’s smile is the first physical trait they notice.
- U.S. and Japanese studies have found that black or green tea has antibacterial powers that help prevent cavities and gum disease.
- In Vermont, it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husband.
- On September 20th, China celebrates “Love your Teeth Day” – a national holiday promoting oral awareness among its 1.2 billion people.
- A long time ago, humans utilized charcoal or ground up chalk, ashes, lemon juice, and honey-tobacco mixture to clean their teeth. It was only around a hundred years ago that the toothpaste was invented.
- In the 1800s, people who had false teeth in England ate in their bedrooms before gatherings and events at the dinner table. This unique Victorian tradition protected them against the embarrassment of having their teeth ‘fall off’ while dining.
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June 18, 2014
What are sealants?
Dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars). The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Who Should Get Sealants?
Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.
In some cases, dental sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth, such as when a child’s baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Because baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it’s important to keep these teeth healthy so they are not lost too early.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Applying sealant is a simple and painless process. It takes only a few minutes for your dentist or hygienist to apply the sealant to seal each tooth. The application steps are as follows:
- First the teeth that are to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth is then dried, and cotton or another absorbent material is put around the tooth to keep it dry.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
- The teeth are then rinsed and dried.
- Sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wearing at regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can replace sealants as necessary.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Sealants?
Many insurance companies cover the cost of sealants. Check with our office so we can verify if your insurance will cover the cost of sealants.
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March 10, 2014
Do you see the date for your next dental checkup looming
ever-closer on the calendar and feel that little pang of guilt? Maybe it’s been
a week or so since you flossed your teeth. Maybe you let the kids go to bed
without making sure they brushed. Maybe you’ve noticed your spouse’s breath
smelling a little off recently but wrote it off as morning breath (that just
happened to last all day).
As a mom (or dad), it’s your job to help your family
practice good oral hygiene habits. With the help of these three free apps, your
job just got a little easier: (more…)
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