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.