What is a Root Canal?

Jun 4th, 2020
Easton Dentists Jul 1st, 2020

A root canal (aka endodontic therapy) is a common procedure used by dentists to clean out infected teeth. Teeth can become infected for a variety of reasons. Many times, the nerve inside a tooth becomes infected as a result of trauma – either a broken tooth or a hard bump that may not even leave any external blemishes. Sometimes, it can take years for a tooth to become infected and noticeably decay before you feel anything. A dentist may recommend endodontic therapy even if you don’t yet feel any pain.

Many patients get nervous when they hear the words “root canal.” Anyone who’s had a root canal procedure done can tell you that there’s almost no pain involved. A hundred years ago, before the popular use of anesthetic, this was true. Yet for some reason, this stereotype still lasts. The pain most people associate with root canals is actually from the infection before they seek help. Your dentist is invested in making endodontic therapy as relaxing as possible. He or she will apply anesthetic and protect the procedure area with a rubber dam to keep out any saliva. This dam allows you to swallow normally during the operation.

Next, the dentist drills a small hole into the inner part of your tooth to remove any infected pulp and dead nerve cells. This fluid is what’s causing the pain you’ve felt. Using varying sizes of tools, your dentist will then clean out the roots and remove any dangerous abscesses or liquid that lie in your jaw. At this point, your first procedure may be over. Not every root canal takes more than one appointment, but some will pause once the cleaning is done. You’ll leave with a temporary crown until your next appointment.

Once a tooth has been cleaned, it’s important to protect it against future infections. The spaces inside a tooth are commonly filled by gutta-percha, a semi-organic material made from the sap of gutta-percha trees. This natural latex is lightweight and durable. Finally, the tooth is capped with a crown and the tooth is just as strong as it was before!

Feeling recurring pain in your teeth? Call The Dental Center at Easton (serving the Columbus Metro Area) to talk to a qualified professional about if you’re a good candidate for a root canal and what you can expect from the procedure.

Suffering From Fractured Teeth? We Can Help!

Feb 20th, 2020
Easton Dentists Mar 2nd, 2020

Fractured teeth are quite common, especially as we age. There are several types of fractures that affect the teeth, and treatment options vary depending on the condition of the fracture.

From small cracks or fissures, to actual split teeth with root damage, Dr. Gilmer can address and correct your this type of tooth damage. Don’t wait to have your fractured teeth examined – the longer it is ignored, the greater the long term health impact can be.

There are several types of fractures, and The Dental Clinic at Easton can treat them all. The most minor fracture is a craze line, or minor crack, which is simply a surface crack affecting the enamel of the tooth. These don’t need any treatment, but if they bother you cosmetically you can consider polishing, or dental veneers.

Other cracked tooth damage can be quite significant, involving the tooth as a whole. These cracks often affect the surface and even the nerve of the tooth- and can be treated with typical dental filling materials such as those used in filling cavities. The pulp may be damaged as well, which may require a root canal.

Minor chips on the teeth are quite common, and most don’t require treatment for the architecture of the tooth. Many minor chips can be polished, or treated with a bit of filling material to address the appearance of the tooth.

Split teeth are the most serious and dangerous type of fractures. In these cases, most patients experience significant pain and tooth sensitivity. Treatments include root canals, followed by crowns. Severe vertical breaks may require the removal of the tooth, and a dental implant to restore your smile.

It’s important to visit your dentist for any type of tooth pain in order for a correct diagnosis.

Do You Have a Dental First Aid Kit?

Feb 13th, 2020
Easton Dentists Mar 2nd, 2020

It is always a good idea to have a first aid kit in your home.  Inside, you more than likely have all the essentials: Band-Aids, gauze, tape, antibiotic ointment, wrap, and some sort of ice pack.  This simple but useful kit plays a crucial role for any family in the event of an emegergengy.  It is designed to quickly and efficiently treat injuries that are bad enough to need care but do not need the immediate attention of a medical professional.

However, there is another first aid kit that every home should have.  Dental first aid kits are a necessity for homes because they provide the specialized care that is meant exclusively for oral care.

While there may be some similarities between the two kits, both should be kept fully stocked in order to take care of any dental emergency that may arise.

  • Floss.  Whether you prefer the traditional roll of floss or the one-time-use sticks, having a handy supply of floss will help relieve much of the irritation that can be associated with eating certain foods.
  • Mild pain medication.  You may use this to stop pain entirely or to make it subside until you can get proper care.  Either way, having an emergency supply of pain medication is never a bad idea.
  • Oral Wax.  Especially for people with braces or any other piece of oral equipment, wax can be placed on and around any sharp protrusion to ease pain and reduce the chance of further injury.  If you’re not sure where to get oral wax, ask your dentist where you can get your hands on it.
  • Emergency ice packs.  When swelling needs to be controlled, ice packs are the quick and effective solution.  If something traumatic happens and you need to make an emergency trip to your hospital or dentist, you’ll want to use an ice pack during the trip.
  • Cotton balls.  Bleeding is never wanted but when it does occur, you’ll want to be ready.  A cotton ball is typically a safe and effective way to help stop the bleeding.
  • Camellia teabags.  This may sound out of place amongst medical supplies but tea has been used for centuries to help sooth oral traumas.  They can even help stop bleeding after oral surgery.
  • Your dentist’s contact information.  Your dentist knows your teeth better than anyone else so who better to help during an emergency?

In the case of an emergency, there is nothing more important than your health.  A dental first aid kit is the first step to take in ensuring your oral health.  For more information on keeping your oral health in order, call us today!

A Whiter Smile Is Possible!

Jan 13th, 2020
Easton Dentists Feb 1st, 2020

Most people would not mind whiter teeth.  As you can guess, the staff at The Dental Center at Easton think whiter teeth are great!.  Whiter teeth can have a possitive impact on your appearance, making you look healthier and encourage more self-confidence during social engagements. Sound good to you?

Though there are a number of toothpastes on the market that claim to whiten and brighten your smile better than others, the truth is that virtually every brand of toothpaste contains an abrasive formula that helps to scrub away stains.  Some brands are more abrasive than others, making them slightly more effective at removing light stains on the surface of your teeth but none of them can do the job fully.

Unfortunately, even the toughest toothpaste will be unable to remove the deep stains that tend to accumulate as we age.  Beverages such as coffee and tea, habits such as smoking, and darkly pigmented foods like berries can darken the teeth over the course of years.  Some of our patients even have tooth discoloration as the result of a childhood illness or a tetracycline medication that was administered while the enamel was still forming.  You will need to find some other solution for complete satisfaction.

One solution considered to brighten smiles and eliminate these tough stains, many people have considered a professional bleaching product.  For most patients, bleaching works particularly well for teeth that are yellowish in tone.  Teeth that are brownish in tone also tend to respond well to whitening solutions as well.  Grayish teeth are typically more difficult to brighten, but specially formulated whitening products can dramatically improve their appearance.  Essentially, no matter the degree of tooth discoloration, there are ways to at least make your teeth a little whiter and brighter.

Dental restorations on the front teeth such as bonding or tooth-colored fillings cannot be whitened with bleaching material.  The shade of these artificial materials won’t respond to bleaching.  However, they can be replaced to match the shade of your new, whiter smile.

While it is difficult to predict the final result of your teeth whitening treatment, there is a whitening option that is just right for you.  Fortunately, The Dental Center at Easton has the trained professionals that can determine which treatment will yield the best results.  Give us a call today to learn how you can get your teeth whiter.

Performance-Enhancing Athletic Mouthguards: Hype? Or the Real Deal?

Sep 28th, 2019
Easton Dentists Oct 1st, 2019

Sports related dental injuries are for real and they do account for some of our emergency care cases.  But now there is a trend towards high performance mouthguards.  It’s a baffling field full of contradictory claims that have left many experts scratching their heads.  Should you buy into the hype?

No longer are athletic mouthguards just something athletes wear to prevent them from visiting the emergency dentist (but, of course, that is why we advocate them!). New athletic mouthguards now actually claim to help athletes perform at their optimal levels.

Performance-enhancing athletic mouthguards seem to be a miracle of modern medicine – the right mouthguard can help the entire body can function at peak capacity. Athletes who invest in these custom mouthguards says they give them improved focus, balance, endurance, and strength. Pro athletes, in sports ranging from golf to boxing to football, have turned to these appliances for an edge over competitors.

Your basic athletic mouthguards are protective and distribute impact to reduce the severity or occurrence of injuries, such as mouth cuts, concussions, and tooth damage. Over-the-counter boil-and-bite varieties offer this protection at a minimal cost to the user. The new-and-improved varieties do this and more.

One type, with the Under Armor name on it makes states:

“ArmourBite® technology with patented Power Wedges™ to increase strength, improve endurance, and reduce athletic stress”

UA Performance Mouthwear mouthguards are intended to stop clenching, which is what triggers the body to overproduce stress hormones such as cortisol, which decreases strength and muscle growth. Cortisol is known to regulate the immune response, but chronic overproduction can have significant negative effects on the body.

Another marketer, NewAge Performance makes a claim:

“90 percent of the population has a bad or poor bite, which causes a mis-alignment in your body. When you have a perfect bite, the body reciprocates with better body alignment, allowing you to perform at a higher level. The New Age mouthpiece fools the body in thinking you have the perfect bite, hence the results being instant.”

It is is not yet known if they truly live up to the claims of physical benefits manufacturers want us to believe. Right now, we have to rely on the users – athletes – for our best information. For many of them, they believe it works.

Regardless if you are a believer or not, one of the most important things to come out of studies on the subject is that none of the mouthguards interfered with the athlete’s performance.  The key is, if the athlete believes in them, that will encourage them to always keep them in their mouth, and that is always a plus.

Is Dental Anxiety For Real?

Jun 16th, 2019
Easton Dentists Jul 5th, 2019

Believe it or not, there is an actual syndrome that is called Dental Anxiety.  Numerous studies have been performed on the topic.  One such study resulted in the following questionnaire, developed by J.H. Clarke and S. Rustvold, Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry, 1993, and revised in 1998.  This scale helps dentists, especially emergency dentists, determine how to treat certain patients.

If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, please print out this form and rank your concerns or anxiety over the dental procedures listed below. Please fill in any additional concerns and bring to your appointment or your visit to your emergency dentist in Gahanna, Ohio.

Level of Concern or Anxiety

1. Sound or vibration of the drill:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

2. Not being numb enough:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

3. Dislike the numb feeling:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

4. Injection (“Novocain”):  Low Moderate High Don’t know

5. Probing to assess gum disease:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

6. The sound or feel of scraping  during teeth cleaning: Low Moderate High Don’t know

7. Gagging, for example during impressions  of the mouth: Low Moderate High Don’t know

8. X-rays:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

9. Rubber dam:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

10. Jaw gets tired: Low Moderate High Don’t know

11. Cold air hurts teeth: Low Moderate High Don’t know

12. Not enough information about procedures: Low Moderate High Don’t know

13. Root canal treatment:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

14. Extraction:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

15. Fear of being injured:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

16. Panic attacks:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

17. Not being able to stop the dentist: Low Moderate High Don’t know

18. Not feeling free to ask questions: Low Moderate High Don’t know

19. Not being listened to or taken seriously: Low Moderate High Don’t know

20. Being criticized, put down, or lectured to: Low Moderate High Don’t know

21. Smells in the dental office: Low Moderate High Don’t know

22. I am worried that I may need a lot of  dental treatment: Low Moderate High Don’t know

23. I am worried about the cost of the  dental treatment I may need: Low Moderate High Don’t know

24. I am worried about the number of appointments and the time that will be required for necessary appointments and treatment; time away from work, or the   need for childcare or transportation:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

25. I am embarrassed about the condition  of my mouth:  Low Moderate High Don’t know

26. I don’t like feeling confined or not in control: Low Moderate High Don’t know

Keep in mind that your emergency dentist in Columbus Ohio may or may not have time to use this tool. It is suggested that when you call for an appointment, that you notify staff at Easton Dental that you are concerned or experience dental anxiety. If you decide to take this assessment, be prepared to discuss with Dr. Gilmer to ensure the best possible care.

What If My Gums Are Bleeding?

Mar 4th, 2019
Easton Dentists Apr 4th, 2019

One of the top concerns of our patients at the Easton Dental Center have with their gums, it is that say that their gums bleed when they floss, and this is the reason why they stop flossing. If it is felt that flossing is not the issue, patients often say that their gums are overly sensitive, and that is why they bleed. We have also have heard from some female patients that they feel that gum bleeding may coincide with their monthly period.

After divulging that they their gums are bleeding at times, we usually hear “but a little bleeding is OK, isn’t it?”  Unfortunately, it is not.

Bleeding gums while flossing or brushing is neither healthy or normal.  Despite what you may have heard, noticing blood while brushing or flossing is a dental issue that needs to be addressed!

Having bleeding gums is a sign that a problem is present, and flossing too hard is not the primary cause, unless you are injuring your gums with a too aggressive flossing technique. Normally though, you just need a slight change to your dental care regimen.

Healthy gums should not be sensitive, nor should there be bleeding. This is a sign of an underlying battle occurring in your mouth, an inflammation caused by bacteria building up around your teeth and into your gums.  This is a symptom shouldn’t be overlooked and needs to be taken seriously.

If you don’t brush or floss often enough with the correct technique, dental plaque, a sticky biofilm of bacteria, grows and accumulates on the surfaces within your mouth and under the gum line. This condition bacteria accumulation leads to the inflammation of the gums, called disease called “gingivitis”.

More often than not, anyone who does not floss for a period of 2 weeks will likely develop gingivitis. Gingivitis can manifest itself in a mild or in a very aggressive and acute form, depending on the kind of bacteria involved.  This condition is completely reversible and heals after a professional dental cleaning and some changes in the oral care routine.

When plaque is not removed above and below the gum line for a long period of time, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar) that will further irritate and inflame the gums, along with destroying the bone.

If gingivitis is left untreated and if some other risk factors (smoking, diabetes, stress or genetic factors) are present, a much worse condition can occur.  This is a degenerative disease called “periodontitis”, which can lead to tooth loss.

Daily flossing is the best method to clean between the teeth and under the gum line in the prevention of this disease. Flossing not only helps cleaning these areas, but it also disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Flossing cleans areas where toothbrushes can’t: if you are not flossing, you are only cleaning approximately 55% of all the areas in your mouth. If you floss infrequently, you can expect to see gum bleeding when flossing because plaque can form in a few hours and the tissue between your teeth won’t be used to stimulation. Once you start correctly brushing and flossing, your gums may feel sore and bleed a bit, but the bleeding should subside in a week or so. Regular flossing the gum tissue between your teeth makes them more resilient, clean and healthy.

Most patients will stop flossing an area that bleeds when flossed, though the opposite should occur. If bleeding occurs, you should change your habits and properly brush and floss more often. If you have been flossing for 7-10 days and your gums are still bleeding, it is time to see your dentist. Let your dental professionals evaluate your flossing technique and whether there is a need for gum treatment.

How To Deal With Dental Anxiety

Dec 31st, 2018
Easton Dentists Dec 31st, 2018

It’s almost time to schedule your 6-month cleaning and the dread of seeing a dentist keeps holding you back. While dental anxiety might seem like an impossible battle to overcome, it’s important to know that you and 75% of the American population can cope with the fear of dental appointments. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, three out of four people in the U.S. have encountered dental anxiety at some point in their lives. Although dental anxiety is very common among patients, it’s important to seek ways to manage constant fear, especially if it keeps you from pursuing crucial dental treatment. The good news is that there are many steps that can be taken to eliminate dental anxiety and improve your overall experience at the dentist.

 

1. Find A Trustworthy Dentist

When you’re looking for a Dentist, it’s critical that you chose a dental professional who also cares about the best interest of you and your health. Is the dental office convenient to your work or home? Are they in-network with your Dental Insurance? Do they offer reasonable payment plans? Does the dental staff educate their patients and give appropriate dental instruction? Do you feel welcomed from the moment you step into the dentist office? These are all questions you should ask yourself when seeking the best Dentist for you and your dental anxiety. When you are comfortable with the cost of treatment and the quality of patient interaction, you can feel at ease that your care is in the hands of a trusted dental professional.

 

2. Express Your Concern

Like most anxieties, the first step to overcoming fear is discussing the issue at hand. Some patients are afraid of needles while others worry about the cost of the visit. Some people avoid the dentist because they’ve had poor experiences in the past. Whatever the concern, be sure to inform your Dentist and the staff that you have dental anxiety. Doing so will help them proceed treatment with attentiveness, making you feel more comfortable when sitting in the dental chair.

 

3. Understand The Treatment

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the dentist is using a tool that is unfamiliar to you, don’t hesitate to become knowledgeable and fully understand their dental procedures. When reviewing a treatment plan with a Dentist, ask as many questions as you need to ensure that you fully comprehend the course of action. It’s important to stay educated at all times so that you know what to expect before your appointment.

 

4. Don’t Go Alone

Sometimes people with dental anxiety feel more comfortable with other people around. Bring your spouse, mom, dad or friend to help keep your anxiety at bay. Talking with someone that you feel comfortable with can help manage the level of nervousness that you might otherwise experience alone.

 

5. Use Relaxation Techniques

Anxiety is effectively treated through many different relaxation techniques. This is also true for dental anxiety. Use deep breathing methods before, during and after the dental appointment to help manage the degree of dental anxiety. Find other distractions that steer your attention from the actual fear itself. For example, playing a game on your phone or reading a magazine in the waiting room helps steer your focus on a different activity. Whatever it is that distracts your anxious mind from the root of your dental fears, use it as a tool to overcome dental anxiety.

If you are delaying dental treatment because of anxiety, don’t let the problem take over your health. It might be comforting to know that modern dental treatment is significantly gentler, softer, and quieter than it has been notorious for in the past. By neglecting routine dental care, you are also risking the chances of oral pain, tooth decay, and other dental health issues down the road. Dental anxiety can be managed, so take a deep breath and beat the stress.

 

6. Sedation

Should none of the above mentioned suggestions work for you, maybe you should consider sedation dentistry.

How Stress Affects Oral Health

Dec 21st, 2018
Easton Dentists Dec 21st, 2018

Most of our patients know a thing or two about stress. Whether you’re dealing with chronic stress, or a brief stressful life circumstance, we all encounter it from time to time. Most people associate stress with heart attacks or ulcers, but do you know how stress can affect your oral health?

Stress may negatively affect your oral health in indirect ways.

For starters, stress can cause folks to reach for coping strategies that aren’t so good for your teeth (or the rest of your body).

Junk food, sweets, cigarettes, or alcohol are just a few examples. When these substances interact with your teeth, they can do a lot of damage in the way of gum disease and tooth decay.

Secondly, when we are stressed, we tend to stop making positive health behaviors a priority. Let’s say you’re in the hospital after a car accident; your brushing and flossing routine will not be forefront on your mind.

Even a minor bout of stress from a tough day can have us reaching for our cozy bed and some relieve instead of taking the time to brush first.

And of course, keeping up with routine dental visits may fall completely off our priority list while under stress. This can prevent us from finding the early signs of decay and can cause more pain and stress later on.

How does stress affect our mouths directly?

Well, lots of folks grind their teeth as a physical way to deal with stress. You may be doing it without even realizing it! Ask a partner or someone who knows you well to tell you if you have this habit. Many of our patients benefit from wearing a mouth guard at night to protect against the damage of grinding their teeth. It protects wear and tear damage and alleviates muscle tension from the forces exerted when tightly clenching your jaw.

Also, when we are stressed we have higher levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, that put our body in a “flight or fight” state. This causes our blood pressure and blood sugar to increase, and our digestive and immune function to decrease. When our immune system isn’t functioning as it should, this can make periodontal disease more likely. It can also slow down the healing of other oral issues or injuries we may have.

What can you do about it?

The best thing you can do to prevent the stress of oral health issues is to maintain good dental hygiene and visit us regularly for routine visits. We want what’s best for you — and that includes a healthy mouth for a lifetime! Schedule an appointment today!

Is It True That Gum Disease Can Cause Heart Attacks?

Nov 26th, 2018
Easton Dentists Nov 26th, 2018

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect more than just oral health. There are many studies showing that people with gum disease also have significantly high rates of developing cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke. While scientists continue to research the theory, it has been recognized that there is a strong relationship between gum disease and heart attacks.

Heart attacks are considered the most common medical condition in the general population. It is also known that heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States. On the other hand, many researchers have found that gum disease affects nearly half of American adults over the age of 30. Because the two conditions similarly affect the population, the idea that gum disease links to heart attacks is prevalent. During a study that was conducted in 2012, known as PAROKRANK, researchers evaluated a group of dental patients to back up the theory. The results showed that 43% of heart attack patients also suffered from gum disease. They also found that people with gum disease had a 50% higher chance of a heart attack than those without.

When it comes to the link between gum disease and heart attacks, inflammation caused by bacteria may be the culprit. It is understood that the common factor between gum disease and heart attacks include the same type of bacterial infection. The bacteria found in gum disease produces inflammation in other areas of the mouth when left untreated. By continuing to live with this condition, the bacteria can eventually spread to other parts of the body. Infection caused by gum disease can easily enter the bloodstream through everyday activities, such as brushing, flossing, and chewing food. As the bacteria spreads throughout the body, it can eventually reach the circulatory system, causing blood vessels to swell and increasing the risk of blood clots and heart attack. Because inflammation is the body’s instant response mechanism, the inflammation can cause the formation of plaque. It is known that the existence of excess plaque can cause the clogging of arteries, similar to how it causes tooth decay.

With the proper care and consistent follow-up with your dentists, the possible health risks of gum disease can be avoided. Everyday care is essential to keeping the signs of gum disease at bay. Continuing to correctly brush and floss each day as well as avoiding alcohol and tobacco can prevent gum disease from forming. Regular cleanings and dental visits can also help with early diagnosis of gum disease. During dental appointments, your dentist can evaluate and measure the gums for inflammation, build-up, and possible bone loss.

The bottom line is that prevention and treatment of gum disease can ultimately save our bodies from further health conditions, such as heart attacks. That is why it’s important to contact your dentist if you suffer from any of the related symptoms:

* Red, swollen, tender gums

* Bleeding gums after brushing, flossing, or eating

* Receding gums

* Loose or separating teeth

* Pus surrounding the gums

* Mouth sores

* Bad bread

* A change in bite

Gum disease has been debated as a possible cause of heart attacks for many years. While research continues to be conducted on the direct link, it’s best to take the proactive steps to beat the possibility