The Why, When, How and Where of Tongue Scraping

Mar 3rd, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 3rd, 2017

Imagine it’s still winter…not hard to do in Ohio since it changes so quickly… you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!

The Tongue

We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!

WHAT is a tongue scraper?

A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.

WHY use a tongue scraper?

The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:

  • Reduce bad breath: ‘nuff said! We have had many patients thank us so much for this little tip because it dramatically improves their overall life! Get a little closer…
  • Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities: Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!). Speaking of avoiding an expensive dental visit, when was the last time you came in to see us? Come see us now if it’s been awhile, by calling in at 614-414-0111.
  • Make room for good bacteria: see our article here on probiotics for your mouth.
  • Prevent heart disease? While the debate is still up in the air, many studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.

HOW does one use a tongue scraper?

In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center!

Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Julie, Kate, or Lindsay for a quick tutorial!

WHERE do I buy one?

Your first choice is, believe it or not, us! We may even have a sample we could provide to you at no cost. Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive, and can also be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!

What’s Up with All that Poking at My Gums During Cleaning?

Feb 22nd, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Poking on my gums

Have you ever wondered why your hygienist starts rattling off a series of numbers in the middle of your cleaning? 2, 2, 3, 2, 4, 5! What’s going on there? What your hygienist is doing is checking the depth of gum tissue pockets that surround your tooth. It’s a proactive way to identify your risk for gum disease, and when done regularly, can help catch it early. Dental probing is a pretty interesting exercise in dentistry, can save you from surgery and extractions, and here’s why.

Dental Probing Catches Problems Early

One reason to visit the dentist regularly is to identify problems in your mouth that you are completely oblivious to. Subtle changes in the health of our gum tissue can be missed by the naked eye, and some people – even those who visit a dentist regularly – can be prone to an excess buildup of plaque and tartar that can result in gingivitis and periodontal disease. Thankfully, your dental team can catch these changes early through the use of X-rays and the practice of dental probing.

The reason for probing is straightforward. As periodontal disease progresses, the visible markers of the disease (plaque and tartar) migrate down along the side of the tooth into the natural “pocket” between the ridge of the gumline and the tooth’s enamel. This inflames the gum tissue and widens this naturally slim gap between the tooth and gum. As this gap becomes wider, even more bacteria are allowed access to the sensitive tissue fibers along the root’s outer surface, causing more damage. This process may result in bone loss, and the need to extract a tooth. This is why probing is so important. We regularly have new patients come see us that have good looking teeth, but they have ignored gum care for so long that they lose those good teeth because the bone can no longer support the teeth. We want to prevent that from happening!

How Does Dental Probing Work?

“Probing” is quite simple and is accomplished by using a dental “probe” to measure the depth of a tooth’s pocket. The probe acts like a ruler, and has markings along its side measured out in millimeters. To measure the depth of your tooth’s pocket, your hygienist gently places the probe into this pocket and makes note of the depth. Those numbers you hear are the millimeter depths of your pocket. Six measurements are taken per tooth, three along the outside, and three along the inside of each tooth. A depth of three millimeters or under without any bleeding is generally accepted as healthy. Above that number, we will suggest more thorough gum therapy, including scaling and root planing, or something even more comprehensive if the number is above a five and nearing ten. We are so committed to setting you up right, that we set aside extra time to make sure you understand your treatment!

So, as you can see, maintaining pocket health is critical, and proper brushing and flossing can help clear away plaque and prevent the tartar buildup that expands a pocket. Your dentist also plays a critical role in ensuring you’re staying ahead of gum disease, so be sure to keep your regular appointments – particularly if you have been identified as having periodontitis (gum disease) and recommended for more frequent, thorough gum therapy. With a good routine and frequent visits to the dentist the only numbers you’ll be hearing moving forward should be 1, 2 and 3! Keep up the good work.

Amalgam Or Porcelain Fillings: Which Is Best For You?

Feb 22nd, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

If you’re going to be getting a filling during your next dental appointment, you need to consider your options. Among the choices are the traditional metal amalgam fillings and their modern porcelain counterparts. Getting up to speed on these 2 types of fillings will make it easier to choose one that’s suitable for your case.

Amalgam Fillings

This type of filling has been around for quite long, and is easily distinguishable thanks to its silvery color. Amalgam fillings are made using a mixture of metals. Most of them typically contain zinc, copper, tin and about 50% mercury. While the fillings are among the more affordable and long-lasting options, they’re marred by a handful of drawbacks.

Ceramic Fillings

Also known as ceramic fillings, these are the most widely used today. They are made by filling a methacrylate matrix with tiny porcelain particles, with the latter accounting for 80% of each filling’s content. The material used to cover the cavity is usually formed in a special lab.

Amalgam Fillings vs Porcelain Fillings

Because most insurers don’t fully cover the cost of ceramic fillings, they tend to be pricier than their amalgam counterparts. But as earlier mentioned, the latter option has quite a number of setbacks. The more notable of these include:

-Amalgam fillings are highly prone to temperature fluctuations. The filling weakens the tooth’s structure as it expands and contracts, and this could potentially cause it to crack.

-As time goes by, the silver color starts to darken. This diminishes the aesthetic appeal of one’s smile.

-While the level of mercury in amalgam fillings is certified as safe for people over the age of 6, it’s still a cause for concern.

Not only are ceramic fillings a good mercury-free alternative, but they also offer other benefits as well:

-Since ceramic fillings are made based on a scan of the patient’s teeth, they can be shaped to cover the cavities perfectly.

-Each filling is obtained from a homogeneous ceramic cube. As such, porcelain fillings maintain their size and shape, temperature changes notwithstanding.

-The insertion of ceramic fillings only requires a small space. This translates to less drilling, which in turn means patients are able to keep more of the healthy part(s) of their teeth.

-Porcelain fillings are less prone to discoloration. This, combined with the fact that they can be matched to the natural color of one’s teeth, adds up to a more aesthetically-pleasing result.

You can now see why ceramic fillings are the best option for your teeth. In recent times, manufacturers have developed superior composite materials for the construction of porcelain fillings. You can thus find quality ceramic fillings that are much more resilient when compared to their metal predecessors.

Diet And Dental Health

Feb 22nd, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Good dental health starts with nutrition and diet. What you eat and drink can affect not only your weight and overall health but also your dental health. Taking good care of your teeth and involves more than just brushing and flossing your teeth every day.

It goes without saying that eating sugary foods and drinking dark beverages can damage your teeth, but there’s plenty to understand about diet and dental health. Certain foods can accelerate the level of decay, leading to bad breath (halitosis), caries (cavities) and other dental problems. On the other hand, other foods can improve your oral health by helping to limit decay over time.

Which foods to eat

When choosing a diet that will promote both dental and overall health, bear in mind that there are plenty of foods out there that can help you achieve your goal. For the best results, you will need to take note of foods that will help you avoid a host of dental issues while also helping you to increase your energy and manage your weight.

Research has established that foods such as almonds, leafy greens, cheese, poultry, fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs and fish can help you fight cavities, reduce the risk of or effectively manage gum disease, and embrace an overall healthier lifestyle. Beverages you should incorporate into your diet include water, milk and plain yogurt.

Foods to avoid

It’s also critical to understand some of the foods you need to avoid or limit in order to improve your overall dental health. For healthier teeth and gums, it pays to limit or avoid sugary, processed foods and foods that are high in sugar or sugar substitutes.

For good dental health, always remember to brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and visit your dentist regularly. Regular dental care can help prevent oral problems and detect those that occur in the early stages, while they’re easily treatable.

Choose The Best Tooth Whitening Method

Feb 22nd, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

There are different types of teeth whitening methods. You should always consult a dentist in Columbus, Ohio before using any in-home or over-the-counter solution for whitening your teeth. Everyone is not the right candidate for every whitening method. Following are the well known methods for whitening teeth.

Over-The-Counter Solutions
The simplest of these solutions are toothpastes specially made for whitening teeth. Most of these toothpastes can be used for both whitening and everyday cleaning of the teeth. There are teeth whitening gels. These gels have lower concentration of whitener than the gels used in the in-office whitening treatments. If for some reason you do not want to use a liquid form of whitener, you can use whitening strips.

Dentist in-Office Teeth Bleaching
Dentists use a gel solution to bleach the teeth. The whole process is performed under the supervision of a trained dentist so you are assured of professional result. In the first visit, you have to give your teeth impressions. It can take about 1-2 weeks to get the trays made out of your teeth impressions. These trays are filled with the bleach and attached to the lower and upper teeth. Several sittings may be needed depending on the discoloration level of your teeth. It will give you professional result at an affordable cost.

Dentist in-Office Laser Teeth Whitening
This method will give you the best whitening results. A thin film of bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide is applied on the teeth. The gel is activated with the help of laser light. Your teeth can become 5-6 shades whiter and brighter with this method. This method may also require several sittings depending on the level of teeth discoloration.

Porcelain Veneers
It is a part of cosmetic dentistry. Each veneer completely covers the tooth. No other teeth whitening solution beats it in the whitener effect because a completely new synthetic layer is used to cover the tooth.

Single Tooth Whitening
When a badly decayed or broken tooth needs to be given better appearance, single tooth whitening solutions are used. A dental crown is fixed to improve the broken or decayed tooth’s appearance. Dental bonding is another solution used for this purpose.

Keep in mind that all solutions have their advantages and limitations. Visit The Dental Center at Eastern Town Center to find which teeth whitening solution is perfect for you. Dr. Brad Gilmer will inspect all parts of your teeth and gums thoroughly. He will determine the solution that is appropriate and will deliver the best result in your case. Call (614) 414-0111 now to schedule an appointment.

What You Need To Know About TMJ

Jan 31st, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Temporomandibular joint disorder is more than annoying. It can cause oral health problems, and can even affect your general health.
Signs And Symptoms Of TMJ

If you have developed TMJ, you may notice symptoms that affect your mouth. When you close or open your mouth, a grating or popping sound may occur. You may experience difficulty closing or opening your mouth.

Some TMJ symptoms may be present in your jaw. Your jaw can lock, and your jaw muscles may become swollen or painful. You may notice a numb or tingling sensation.

Pain from TMJ does not only affect your jaw. You may feel pain in your neck or ear, and you may develop headaches.

How To Prevent TMJ

While TMJ can be treated, and symptoms may disappear, it is easier to prevent this condition than to treat it afterward. If you are experiencing symptoms, consult with your dentist as soon as possible. Prompt treatment can prevent further problems.

One of the main causes of TMJ is clinching or grinding your teeth. Not only does this put pressure on your teeth that can damage your tooth enamel, it is harmful to your jaw. If you have this habit, ask your dentist for advice on how to stop.

In many cases, clinching and grinding occurs when you are dealing with stress. There are healthy ways to relieve stress that do not harm your oral health.

In some cases, though, it occurs during the nighttime. If you grind your teeth when you are asleep, you may not be aware of it. Perhaps your spouse, parent, or other family member has brought this problem to your attention.

Nighttime grinding can be prevented by wearing a mouth guard. Ready-made mouth guards can be purchased from sporting goods stores, but a better approach is to obtain one from your dentist. It will be the correct fit for your mouth, and you can learn how to care for it properly.
The best approach to TMJ is to prevent it before it develops. You can have good oral health.

Teeth Whitening Resolution?

Jan 31st, 2017
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

New Year and resolutions go hand in hand. These resolutions are promises people make to themselves to get rid of a particular bad habit or develop a specific good habit. However, most resolutions don’t stand the test of time as they’re unreasonable or difficult to start with. Therefore, it’s important to take up a resolution that adds value and is also easy to implement. Teeth whitening can be one such New Year resolution. If you believe a fresh, white smile is what you need, the following teeth whitening treatments shall help you.

1. Tray and Gel

A tray-and-gel setup is a potent teeth whitening method that you need to work on with a dentist. The gel contains 10 to 15 percent hydrogen peroxide, which is the primary constituent of every teeth whitening product on the market. The dentist will custom fit the mold with your mouth and give you the whitening gel and tray for use at home. The tray makes sure the gel is applied evenly, ensuring some extremely impressive results.

2. Whitening Treatment Course

Another popular teeth whitening treatment option dentists provide is a series of treatments that last 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll require multiple sessions before you could notice results. This treatment is more expensive and more effective than the previous method as the hydrogen peroxide content here is 35 percent.

Foods to Avoid

There is a negative correlation between certain foods and whiter teeth. Some foods cause the teeth to lose their pearly white hue and are called “staining foods”. They are dark soups, dark chocolate, beets, dark marinades, tomato and soy sauces, blueberries, and dark beverages (coffee, wine, colored juices, etc.). Generally, Indian and Spanish cuisine could darken teeth thanks to their higher use of curry and tomato sauces.

It’s hard to imagine not eating these aforementioned food items forever, but you can certainly keep the consumption and frequency as low as possible. Also, these foods are strictly not recommended right after a teeth whitening session.

Conclusion

You may try at-home teeth whitening remedies, but remember they won’t be as effective or safe as in-office teeth whitening treatments since some foods are acidic and may cause tooth sensitivity issues. Needless to say, it’s not wise to experiment with your already vulnerable teeth.

Should you like to schedule an appointment for teeth whitening at The Dental Center please call 614-414-0111.

What To Do In A Dental Emergency

Dec 21st, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

What To Do In A Dental Emergency: Trauma

Teeth are typically strong, but trauma to the mouth can cause a tooth to chip, break, or be removed entirely. Should something like this happen, you need to know what to do. In many cases, it may be a dental emergency and a visit to your dentist is a necessity.

Here is what you should do in an event of a dental emergency:

Assess the Damage

If a tooth is broken or chipped due to trauma, the gums may bleed, so rinse the area with warm water to help stop the bleeding. If it continues to bleed, biting down on gauze will help with clotting. Once the bleeding is under control, assess the damage if possible. If the tooth has a small chip with little pain, you may not need an emergency dentist. However, if there is significant damage, this may be a dental emergency, and emergency treatment would be necessary because waiting will result in excessive swelling and pain.

The Pain Level

Another aspect to keep in mind if you have damaged a tooth is the pain level. Sometimes when trauma is involved, it is difficult to see the actual damage with your own eyes. If you experience a lot of pain, the damage could be to the roots or the tooth cracked under the gums. If you’re in a great deal of pain, it’s important to call a dentist that offers emergency care. If the trauma occurs outside of normal business hours, odds are you will likely need to call for after hours dental emergencies or go to the emergency room.

What to Expect at the Dentist

If you need to call for an emergency dental visit, the first question your dentist will ask is what happened. This is important because it helps to visualize the damage that may have happened to your tooth that cannot be seen visually.

Your dentist will visually inspect your tooth. In almost all cases where trauma has resulted in teeth damage, an x-ray will be performed to see if there is damage to the roots or if the tooth split vertically.

After your x-rays are examined, your dentist will go over what happened and what needs to be done in order to fix or replace the broken tooth. You may be given an antibiotic along with pain medication before and after the procedure.

 

Any dental emergency such as an injury to the teeth or gums or extreme discomfort can be potentially serious and should not be ignored. Ignoring a dental problem may greatly increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive and expensive dental procedures in the future.

When emergency issues arise, it is important to have an emergency dentist who accommodates your needs.  At The Dental Center at Easton Town Center, Dr. Gilmer and our experienced staff understand accidents and dental emergencies happen. The Dental Center provides a convenient location in Columbus, Ohio for your emergency dentistry needs. By offering extended business hours and a location central to the Columbus, Ohio area, the Dental Center is the premier choice for emergency dental services.

Halitosis Stinks: Try These Bad Breath Remedies

Dec 21st, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

Halitosis, also known more commonly as bad breath, is an embarrassing problem nobody wants to admit they have. Studies have shown you are not alone, about 25-30% of the population throughout the entire world has the same problem as you. However, there are plenty of bad breath cures out there so that you don’t have to feel ashamed any longer. With these bad breath remedies, you can have fresh breath all day long:

Bacteria Build-Up

In most cases, halitosis is caused by harmful bacteria inside the mouth. The odor-causing bacteria loves to hide at the back of your tongue where ordinary brushing won’t reach. One of the best bad breath remedies is using a tongue scraper every time you brush your teeth is an ideal way to get rid of noxious bacteria. If you don’t already, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, more preferably after every meal. Also, be sure and consider your diet. Bad bacteria thrive on white sugar and white flour products, while fresh vegetables and fruit will improve your health overall and your breath.

Got Water?

The more dehydrated you are, the worse your breath smells as your mouth needs saliva to stay fresh. Make sure you are drinking the recommended amount of water for your body size and an additional bonus, keeping your mouth moist and wet will flush any left behind food particles, which is what bad bacteria thrive on.

Got Gum?

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals helps stimulate the flow of saliva, which helps clean away any remaining food particles, and leaves your mouth constantly hydrated and smelling sweet.

Your Stomach Can Make Your Breath Stinky

While they may not seem related, stomach issues are another cause of bad breath. Acid reflux is a prime offender by causing a bitter, metallic taste and creating bad breath. If you have sour or bitter breath, you should schedule a checkup with your family doctor.  If you have these health issues, treating them is essential to curing your bad breath as it gets to the source rather than just masking the symptoms.

See a dentist!

Finally, if bad breath persists even after making these changes and implementing these suggestions, one should see their dentist. Your dentist will check for more serious conditions that could be causing the problem and recommend a treatment plan tailored to you.

Having a healthy mouth is the most important factor in having fresh breath. At The Dental Center at Easton, we understand that even though bad breath can be embarrassing, it is completely treatable. Contact The Dental Center today to schedule your exam.

Teeth Whitening Can Help You Look Your Best

Dec 20th, 2016
Easton Dentists Mar 1st, 2017

index

Many people wish they had brighter, whiter teeth, but no matter how often they brush, their teeth never seem to reach the level where they have that radiant smile they want.

Here are a couple of teeth whitening options that you should consider:

 

In-Office Whitening

In-office whitening usually can make the most difference in your smile’s appearance. At your appointment, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and a chemical whitener will be applied. The results from in-office procedures can last as long as a year!

 

Over the Counter Whitening

Finally, there are a number of over-the-counter bleaching agents and whitening strips that can be found at your local store. These are the least expensive option and can also considered one-size-fits-all. This means they are not customized to your unique needs.  These over-the-counter whitening systems are very economical, however the results of these products don’t last as long as an in-office whitening application.

Whether you have dull, stained teeth from smoking, poor dental hygiene, because you drink coffee, tea, cola or even enjoy berries and other foods that can leave your teeth looking dingy and stained, a The Dental Center at Easton Town Center has the experience and the professional products that will be able to deliver quality results. When you visit Dr. Glimmer for teeth whitening, you will not only get the very best in whitening products and treatment, but you will also be able to ensure that your teeth are as healthy as possible.

Teeth whitening will help you to not only look your best, but it can help you look younger as well. When you have clean, bright teeth, you will have a more attractive and vibrant smile. Leave teeth whitening to a professional dentist and start enjoying the compliments.

We understand what makes a smile your best feature. Whether you’re looking for convenience or effectiveness, there are several options to get your smile looking its best. Call our office or contact us online to learn more.