Tooth sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity is the heightened sensations in the teeth. It is caused by teeth or gum damage that exposes dentin that contains nerve endings. Below, we will discuss the signs, symptoms, and tips for alleviating dental sensitivity.
Signs and Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth
You have sensitivity teeth if you are experiencing pain or heightened sensations when:
Consuming hot, and cold foods and drinks
Consuming sweet or very acidic foods and drinks
Breathing in cold air
Causes of Sensitive Teeth: Why is it so Painful?
Sensitive teeth happen when the nerves in the teeth become exposed to elements. Exposure occurs when the teeth’ protective layerings are worn down or gums recede. The protective layers are enamel, which protects the tooth, and cementum, which covers the dentin. The dentin contains nerve endings in its microscopic tubules.
The sensations experienced by the nerve endings are heightened to the point of discomfort.
Before we can treat dental sensitivity, we must find out what is causing it. Here are some factors that can cause gum recession and tooth damage, leading to sensitivity.
Tartar Buildup, Tooth Decay and Cavities
Food particles cause an acidic environment for bacteria to thrive. This leads to form tartar buildup or dental plaque. Its bacteria can eat away the enamel and cause gums to recede. It also causes tooth decay that leads to cavities.
Highly Acidic Foods and Liquids
Highly acidic foods and drinks like coffee and tea can wear away tooth enamel. Frequent exposure to stomach acid from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or bulimia can also wear away the teeth’s protective layering.
Enamel damage can be caused by using a hard-bristled toothbrush or aggressively brushing the teeth. Aggressive brushing, especially in a horizontal position, can cause gums to recede and lead to tooth sensitivity.
Fractured Teeth, Teeth Grinding, and Worn Fillings
Fractured teeth and worn fillings cause tooth dentin and its nerve endings to be exposed to the elements even if the enamel isn’t worn down. Teeth grinding, or even grinding teeth while sleeping (bruxism), can also expose tooth nerve endings.
Bacterial infection in the gums can cause gum inflammation, tooth pain, and sensitivity. Gum disease can cause teeth to loosen. If left untreated, teeth can fall out.
Dental Care Tips for Sensitive Teeth: How do You Stop Sensitive Teeth Pain Fast?
Oral care for sensitive teeth boils down to treating the cause. Here is a short list of quick remedies that you can do for mildly sensitive teeth:
Use sensitivity toothpaste
Use soft-bristle toothbrush
Use hydrogen peroxide mouthwash
Use saltwater mouthwash
Manage acidic food and drink intake
Address teeth grinding
Let’s delve into the essential dental care tips for dentin hypersensitivity, exploring remedies to alleviate the discomfort and maintain your dental health.
Use Sensitivity Toothpaste for Worn Enamel
Sensitivity toothpaste works in two ways: 1.) It covers the exposed dentinal tubules, or 2.) It desensitizes the tooth’s nerve endings. It also contains fluoride which strengthens the tooth enamel.
Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush and Gentle Strokes to Address Aggressive Brushing
Soft-bristle toothbrushes exert less pressure on teeth and gums. The American Dental Association also encourages using angled or multi-layered bristles if people feel that soft-bristle brushes are too soft for them. Electric toothbrushes are also safe to use as they have soft bristles to balance the pressure they may exert on the teeth from their rotation and vibration.
Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash to Reduce Bacterial Growth
Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash must be gargled with care. It has antibacterial properties that can disinfect the inside of your mouth. Gum redness or irritation can occur after gargling hydrogen peroxide mouthwash, which should disappear after a few hours.
Combine one part of 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide with two parts of water.
Gargle the mouthwash for 60 seconds (do not gargle for more than 90 seconds) and spit it out.
Saltwater Mouthwash to Reduce Bacterial Growth
Saltwater mouthwash is a safe alternative for children and people who can’t gargle without swallowing. It decreases the acidic environment in your mouth and lets bacteria thrive. Saltwater also draws out excess fluid in gum infection.
Due to these reasons, saltwater soothes tooth pain long enough for you to be able to see your dentist. Gargle saltwater mouthwash consisting of a teaspoon of salt stirred in 8 ounces of warm water.
Manage Intake of Acidic Foods and Drinks
As acidic content causes enamel damage, one can reduce intake of acidic foods and drinks. While people may not let go of their morning coffee that easily, they can use straws to lessen contact with acidic drinks from their teeth. They can also drink water to balance out the pH level in their mouth after eating acidic foods like sugary products.
Address Teeth Grinding
When a person is anxious or stressed, they can grind their teeth without realizing it and also in their sleep. Getting active, relaxing the jaw, and investing in a mouthguard can help address teeth grinding.
When to Visit a Dentist for Teeth Sensitivity
American Association of Endodontists (AAE) states that you must consult your dental professional if your tooth sensitivity lasts more than 30 seconds after consuming hot or cold food or drink.
Another indicator that you must visit your dental professional is if your tooth pain is ongoing or severe. These symptoms can indicate that you may have a tooth cavity, exposed tooth nerve endings, or gum condition.
Your dental professional may do the following:
Strengthen the tooth enamel with in-office application of fluoride gel.
Repairing fractured teeth with crown, inlay, or bonding.
Surgical gum grafting to protect the root and reduce sensitivity
If sensitivity is severe or persistent and cannot be treated by other means, they may recommend a root canal to eliminate the problem.
Sensitive Teeth and Your Dental Health
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by enamel damage and gum problems. Mildly sensitive teeth can be managed with the tips provided above. With long-term management, people with sensitive teeth can maintain their oral health. However, if your symptoms are severe, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us.
Flossing is a frequently overlooked necessity for good dental health, much like keeping weeds from growing in between a beautiful fence, flossing keeps the teeth looking good and in pristine condition. While regular flossing is something most of us are taught, it’s usually the most neglected, like a chore we can’t wait to move past. On top of that, flossing incorrectly won’t do much in preventing tooth decay or gum disease.
To make sure you’re flossing and flossing the right way, let’s go over how to perfect your flossing technique and find the right kind of floss for you.
Why Flossing is a Must
Regular teeth brushing is usually the first thing people think of as at-home dental care, but flossing is just as essential to maintaining strong and healthy teeth. Let’s go over some of the benefits that come with a good flossing regularly done:
Preventing bad breath: Cavities and gum disease come from plaque build-up in the mouth, which creates a foul smell. By removing plaque from between the teeth with floss, you’re minimizing the bacteria that cause the smell and making for fresher breath.
Reducing gum disease risk: Speaking of prevention, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems. Flossing removes the food and bacteria from between the teeth that brushes can’t reach, reducing gum inflammation and the risk of developing gum disease.
Cavity prevention: Cavities are caused by acid-producing bacteria that eat away at tooth enamel. Brushing doesn’t remove all the food particles or plaque that creates the bacteria, which flossing would get rid of.
Many people may find flossing inconvenient or uncomfortable, which is fair, but the benefits are far better than the consequences of not regularly flossing, and less uncomfortable or inconvenient.
Flossing properly seems like a simple thing to do, but improper cleaning can both damage the gums and do less for removing food or bacteria from between the teeth. Also, it surprises a lot of people to know that there are various flossing techniques to use in your oral hygiene routine:
C-shape flossing method: Curving the floss into a C-shape around each tooth and gently gliding it up and down. This method both cleans the tooth surface and the gum line.
Sawing Method: Moving the floss back and forth in between the teeth to remove food particles that may be stuck.
As this is a guide to good flossing, there are some parts of using floss that many people are unaware of, including a proper flossing method:
Reusing floss: Make sure the floss length is enough so no part is reused. Reusing part of the floss can redistribute the bacteria or even damage the gums.
Proper flossing: Use 18 inches, or arm’s length, of floss so as to not reuse, wrap it around the fingers and pull it taut to leave only a few inches for cleaning. You can start with the upper or lower teeth, whichever you want to clean first, and continue moving forward from back to front. Remember to not use the same part of floss over and over. Fresh floss for a fresh space.
Different Types of Floss
Traditional string floss isn’t for everyone and now there are many types available:
Floss picks: the most common flossing alternative, they’re small plastic sticks with a single strand of floss attached to one end and a pointed pick on the other. It’s a good option for people who find wrapping traditional floss difficult or for people with braces.
Interdental brushes: tiny brushes designed to clean deeper between the teeth and gums than traditional dental floss. They’re a good option for those who have larger gaps between the teeth or who have orthodontic appliances.
Waterpiks: These mechanisms use a concentrated stream of water to remove plaque and food debris from in between the teeth, and are very effective when used correctly. Just remember, they do not replace brushing.
Choosing the Right Floss for Your Teeth
To choose the best floss for you, there are a few things to consider:
Do you have large gaps between your teeth? If so, tape floss would be a better option.
Do you have tight spaces between your teeth? If so, thinner floss would be best to get between them.
Do you have sensitive gums? Unwaxed floss would be best as they don’t fray like waxed ones do.
Talk with your dentist about flossing concerns and see what they recommend.
Now that you understand how important flossing is to oral hygiene and proper flossing techniques, be sure to have regular dental appointments so you can catch any oral health issues early, including those that affect or come from a lack of or improper flossing.
If you are looking for a dentist, we have numerous payment options available and if you have dental benefits, we will submit your claims on your behalf. We also welcome cash, Visa, MasterCard, and e-Transfer payment methods to help make the dentist visit as pain-free as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns about our dental services or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call us at 587-801-1939 or contact us here.
Many people think of cosmetic dentistry as just dental treatments that improve the look of your teeth, like getting them whitened, but you’d be surprised how many dental treatments fall within the cosmetic dentistry branch of dental health. Let’s take a look at the different types of cosmetic dentistry and discover the often misunderstood difference between general and cosmetic dentistry.
What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is focused on improving the appearance of a person’s smile. Dental offices that offer cosmetic dental services often treat things like:
teeth that are misshapen
chipped or cracked teeth
gaps or spaces between teeth
Difference between Cosmetic and General Dentistry
It isn’t uncommon for patients to look at that list and think, “But isn’t that regular dentistry?!” While the appearance of a smile and the alignment of your teeth do have an impact on your overall dental health, there are differences to note between cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry:
a general dentist is a primary dental care provider
preventative dental care services are offered by general dentists, like teeth cleanings, dental fillings, bridges, and crowns
Cosmetic dental services focus on beautifying a smile and offer treatments that improve the appearance of teeth and gums rather than restoring health and function.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
There are many types of cosmetic dental treatments, with the primary types of cosmetic dental services being:
Also known as “teeth bleaching”, this dental procedure brightens and whitens the teeth from any discoloration or staining. It’s important to note that whitening done at a dental office is different and more powerful than the kind that can be bought at the store. Though, there is still an at-home option for whitening performed by a dentist.
This is one of those dental services many people are surprised to learn falls under cosmetic dentistry. Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or other materials that are custom-made for your teeth and cemented to the front side of a tooth. Veneers are used to treat many dental conditions, such as a crooked tooth, discolored or chipped teeth, and to cover spaces between teeth.
Another surprise type of dental treatment that falls beneath the “cosmetic” umbrella, a dental implant is a metal device used to replace missing teeth. The implant acts as the tooth root and can anchor artificial teeth like crowns, bridges, or dentures.
Crowns, or caps, are custom-made to fit over an entire tooth after it has been prepared. They’re usually made of acrylic or porcelain and are fused to metal to treat poorly shaped or badly decayed teeth, broken or chipped teeth, or have had large fillings. Also, a dental treatment that isn’t usually considered cosmetic, but it most certainly is.
Tooth Bonding Orthodontic Treatment
Most people see orthodontic dental treatments as braces and pretty much only for kids or teenagers, but many adults get cosmetic dental treatments to realign their teeth. Also, metallic braces aren’t the only solution for adults, now there is Invisalign. Using clear aligners that are created from computer-generated images and impressions of your mouth, a series of molds are created to move teeth into the desired position. Over the months, Invisalign pushes the teeth steadily using gentle pressure to create tooth movement and correct them.
Dental Health Can Be Cosmetic & Beneficial
Many of the dental treatments listed help both your overall dental health and improve the appearance of your smile. The main difference between cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry is that one is considered elective and the other is important to improve the health of your teeth and gums. Here at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic, we strive to make dental care affordable, and accessible to all of our patients. We will work with you to find a treatment plan that works for your financial situation.
If you have questions about any of the services above, our team of compassionate professionals can help you understand all of your options. Contact us now or give us a call at (780) 705-9866.
Invisalign is a popular dental treatment for people wanting an alternative to braces to straighten teeth and fix their bite patterns. Up until Invisalign was rolled out when a patient needed their teeth alignment corrected, they only had braces as an option which carries drawbacks that often stop someone from correcting their teeth.
It’s important, when looking into different treatments, to understand how it works so you can make an informed decision with your dentist for the right treatment for you. If you’re considering Invisalign and curious as to how it works, read on and learn if joining Invisalign users is the right decision for you.
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign works by using clear aligners to move teeth into the desired position and created from computer-generated images and impressions of your mouth to create a series of molds. Over the months, Invisalign pushes the teeth steadily using gentle pressure to create tooth movement and correct them.
The clear aligners that are custom fitted to your teeth are removable, making it much easier to maintain your regular brushing habits and not worry if food and plaque get caught in the Invisalign trays. One of the greatest appeals of Invisalign is that you can remove and clean them, unlike braces where brushing and keeping food from building up can be a difficult annoyance.
Some people may wonder if Invisalign is for all types of patients or if there are restrictions on who can use them. You’ll be happy to hear that Invisalign is available for most people who want to improve their smile or arrange their teeth better, but Invisalign only works when all of the baby teeth have been extracted or emerged.
The Invisalign Process
Now that you know what Invisalign is and how it works, we can focus on the process of a patient getting Invisalign. Much like traditional braces, there are several steps before Invisalign is made and applied:
Initial Consultation and X-Rays
The first step towards Invisalign is a consultation with your dentist to discuss the process, how it works, and the cost to you. If you decide to move forward, your dentist will take X-rays and photographs of your mouth, teeth, and face from different angles to create a detailed map of your mouth’s mechanics. Once the map is assembled an impression can be taken for the lab that makes the Invisalign aligners (trays).
The first set of Invisalign trays you receive are based on the impressions taken before and will likely feel tight when they’re put on. Your dentist will review the fit and may try a few different molds before finding the one you can take home. They’ll ask you different questions about the tray, like how it feels, whether you can feel any movement, and if they’re uncomfortable. If you feel any pain, it’s important to talk about it with your dentist so adjustments can be made, but remember that they’ll feel uncomfortable at first.
Invisalign is a multi-step process with different trays being used as your teeth move more and more into the new positions. Every one or two weeks, depending on what your dentist finds during check-ins, you’ll receive the next phase of trays.
Benefits of Invisalign Dental Treatment
Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign offers several advantages that they don’t, including:
Traditional braces can take between 16 to 18 months, sometimes longer than 2 years depending on the goal of the dental treatment and the patient’s circumstances teeth-wise. Invisalign treatment is designed with a precise movement planned out and usually takes around a year to complete.
With traditional braces, it’s important to see your orthodontist frequently for adjustments and monitoring progress. These dental office visits can include replacing a bracket, changing the wire size, tightening, or wiring with extra wires, which can take several hours. With Invisalign, the visits you do make to your dental office won’t be nearly as long. These visits are primarily to have a set of aligners switches and to ensure everything is moving as it should.
Traditional braces can be brushed around but leave a great deal of space covered and that can make it more difficult to clean around the wires. If food gets behind any of the metal, you would need a small brush or try to pick the food out with another dental tool and plaque easily gets stuck around and inside the brackets, which if left there can cause gum disease or tooth decay. With Invisalign, you’re able to remove the trays and continue with your normal dental routine.
Dental Health is a Click Away
If Invisalign sounds like the right treatment for you to have the smile you deserve, Dr. Li and the care team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic also provide Invisalign treatments and strive to make dental care affordable, and accessible to all of our patients. We will work with you to find a treatment plan that works for your financial situation.
If you have questions about our emergency dental service, our team of compassionate professionals can help you understand all of your options. Contact us now or give us a call at (780) 705-9866.
Dental emergencies can be a stressful experience, filled with anxieties about what to do in the situation. No matter the type of dental emergency, it’s important to have some basic information to know how to handle the situation to make for a better dental recovery, whether you’re dealing with a broken tooth or some other oral condition that has become urgent.
To help people know how to deal with an emergency dental situation we’ve compiled basic information for the do’s and don’ts of dealing with dental emergencies. Read through the tips below and find out how to navigate a dental emergency that can help restore your oral health.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency?
Stop Any Bleeding in the Mouth
In any type of medical emergency, the first thing to do is always to stop any bleeding. For dental emergencies, this mainly applies to someone who is bleeding profusely instead of some blood mixed in saliva. When someone is bleeding in their mouth or from a tooth knocked out, you’ll want to use a clean and cold washcloth and apply direct pressure to the site of the injury. To help stop blood flowing down in the throat, you’ll want to lean forward; do not lie down or stand up as you may risk fainting.
Find Pieces of a Broken Tooth
If the situation is a broken or chipped tooth, be sure to look for any pieces that have fallen out. A dentist can bond the tooth back together, though it’s more likely when there is a clean break instead of a shattered tooth. Any pieces found should be placed in a small cup of milk and brought to the dentist’s office.
Keep Knocked-Out Teeth in Milk
As mentioned earlier, any part of a tooth and the tooth itself should always be put into milk to increase the chances of it being successfully placed back. Milk has a similar chemical composition as saliva, so it’s a perfect choice to keep teeth moist until you can get to your dentist or an emergency dentist.
Take Any Tooth Pain Seriously
Many people ignore their toothaches until they can’t be anymore, often trying to dull the pain with over-the-counter pain relievers. It’s important to never ignore tooth pain, it’s an indication that something is wrong, but not all tooth pain qualifies as an emergency. For home treatment, you can floss around the tooth that is in pain and see if anything was lodged there. If the flossing makes no difference, you could have a cavity, abscess, or another dental issue that needs to be checked out.
Use Cold Compresses
A cold compress should be in the freezer for any adult because they are excellent at reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation. During a dental emergency, a cold compress can give you relief and help keep the area from swelling further while waiting to see a dentist, but be sure to wrap it in a towel to prevent any damage to your skin.
What Not to Do During Dental Emergencies
Don’t Panic During a Dental Emergency
No matter the type of dental emergency, it’s important not to panic and try to remain calm to take steps that can help you through the situation. If you’re not the one with the emergency, staying calm is a big help to the person who is, helping them to focus on getting to a dentist and taking steps to save their teeth or prevent further problems.
Don’t Touch the Root of the Tooth
Never, ever touch the root of a tooth, and always pick up the tooth by the crown (the part of the tooth you can see in your mouth). The root of a tooth has very delicate periodontal cells that when damaged, make the chances of successful re-implantation less likely.
Don’t Hesitate to Go to an Emergency Room
Most people don’t know that they can go to an emergency room if going through a dental emergency, especially if a dentist is unavailable or there has been significant facial trauma or uncontrolled bleeding. A hospital will be better equipped to handle any blood loss, broken facial bones, or other possible complications other than dental health. Once the emergency part is taken care of, then you can make an appointment with your dentist to take care of the dental parts of the incident.
Don’t Use Aspirin for Pain
Many people will reach for over-the-counter pain relievers to help with dental pain till they can see their dentist, but if there is any bleeding then avoid taking aspirin at all costs. Aspirin is a blood thinner and will make stopping it very difficult. Although you still want to avoid aspirin as if going for emergency dental treatment, any bleeding they cause will be more difficult to stop by natural clotting or through medical means.
Dental Emergency Services
What is just as important as knowing what to do during a dental emergency is knowing if your dentist offers emergency services. Take note of whether your dentist does or if there are other dental emergency services that you could call if it occurs. Dr. Li and the care team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic also provide emergency dental services and strive to make dental care affordable, and accessible to all of our patients. We will work with you to find a treatment plan for your dental veneers that works for your financial situation.
If you have questions about our emergency dental service, our team of compassionate professionals can help you understand all of your options. Contact us now or give us a call at (780) 705-9866.