Posts for category: Dental and General Health
Cracked Tooth Syndrome
If a tooth is painful when you bite down, when you release your bite or if it is sensitive to chewing only certain foods you may have a crack in your tooth. Cracks in teeth are challenging to diagnose due to the progression they take. The importance of catching them before they travel into the tooth is the difference between being able to treat and save a tooth or needing it extracted.
Cracks are hard to see sometimes and how a crack looks is often not what determines how bad it is. Some crack lines are very superficial staying in the enamel of teeth, we call these craze lines. As soon as a crack reaches the second layer of a tooth a patient may or may not have sensitivity. Some of the symptoms patients first have when a crack has traveled into the dentin layer of their tooth are cold sensitivity or biting sensitivity. Once the crack has traveled further patients can have more severe pain and treatment can involve more extensive treatment to save the tooth. In some instances a tooth cannot be saved and an extraction is required.
At your recare visits we look for cracks in teeth and listen to any symptoms you have been experiencing to clue us into a potential cracked tooth problem. We also determine if treatment is needed to prevent serious problems from developing.
For more information on cracked teeth take a look at our Patient Education tab on our website under Endodontics-Cracked Teeth for more information.
Chances are you or someone you know snores. Snoring can lead to sleepless nights for those trying to sleep within earshot of a snorer. Snoring also keeps the snorer from getting a good night sleep as well. About half of loud snorers also have obstructivce sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when tissues in the back of the throat block the airway which can cause you to snore and stop breathing for short periods of time.
Imagine how you would feel if you were deprived of oxygen. Those with sleep apnea can feel unrested and tired throughout the day, have headaches, lack concentration, and could be at risk of nodding off while working or driving.
There is no real cure for obstructive sleep apnea, but there are ways to help keep the airway open. A common type of treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. There are also oral appliances that can help to keep the airway open. These appliances reposition the jaw forward during sleep to help keep the airway open.
Reposition the jaw to get better flow? You may think this sounds silly. To demonstrate, you can do a little test to feel what a more open airway feels like. In a seated or standing position, tip your head way back. Did you feel your jaw settle back? Take a deep breath and keep in mind how that feels. Now, with your head tipped back, jut your lower jaw forward and take a deep breath with your jaw forward. An oral appliance can help to keep your jaw forward and your airway open while you sleep.
If you feel that you have a snoring problem or may have obstructive sleep apnea, you should see your physician. Your physician will help to determine whether you just have a snoring problem or an obstructive sleep apnea issue. Discuss your treatment options with your physician and let us know if you have questions about or are interested in an oral appliance for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. Our patients who have tried an oral appliance or have switched from a CPAP machine to an oral appliance have given them rave reviews.
Have you heard the word biofilm yet in the news? If not you probably will soon, research is being done at an incredible rate due to it’s link to disease and health. Biofilms are basically a community of bacteria living together in your body. In your mouth they are found in the plaque on your teeth. The biofilm is in a delicate balance of good and not so good bacteria. If you have more good bacteria the result is usually a healthy environment. In your mouth, that means your plaque won’t cause gingivitis, periodontal disease or decay. So some people can actually leave that plaque on their teeth and not have a problem as quickly. So that friend that tells you they hardly ever floss and their teeth are healthy probably has a great biofilm. The reverse is true too. Too many bad bacteria in your plaque biofilm and you will have a disease process occur. If the bad bacteria are the bacteria that cause periodontal disease, you probably will have gums that become infected and bleed quickly when you don’t brush and floss daily, basically leaving this unhealthy biofilm on your teeth. This then leads to pockets that form around the teeth and bone loss. If the bad bacteria in your biofilm are the bacteria that cause decay, then you probably get cavities regularly, especially if you don’t take the steps that help protect your teeth from dental decay. When you are in for your exam we look at you as an individual and tailor our recommendations to your situation. We do tell all patient to floss, you never know when your biofilm will change from a healthy environment of bacteria to an unhealthy environment and we want to give you the knowledge and tools to be as healthy as possible. But if you have bleeding gums, pocketing around your teeth or decay at every visit, flossing and excellent oral home care is a must. Can you do things to change your biofilm to a healthier balance of bacteria? This is exactly where the research is heading, and it will definitely change the way we look at health care.