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Posts for: February, 2017

By Dentistry by Design
February 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health
InTodaysNFLOralHygieneTakesCenterStage

Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.

First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.

Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?

Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.

Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.

Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.

So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.

If you would like more information about mouthrinses and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule a consultation.


By Dentistry by Design
February 05, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: loose teeth  
DontLetYourLooseToothBecomeaLostTooth

Discovering a loose tooth can be exciting — if you're six, that is, and anticipating a windfall from the tooth fairy. If you're an adult, a loose tooth is a different story. You're in real danger of it becoming a lost tooth, and there won't be another one coming in to replace it.

Fortunately, that result isn't inevitable, but we have to take quick action if we're going to save your tooth. The first step is to find out why it's loose.

Tooth looseness occurs primarily because the gum and bone structures that hold teeth in place have been damaged in some way. Otherwise healthy teeth and gums can be injured in an accident or with dental habits like teeth grinding or clenching that increase the biting forces against teeth. The latter could require some intervention like a night guard to prevent teeth from grinding to reduce the abnormal biting force.

But disease is often the root cause for tooth looseness. Periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection triggered by bacterial plaque, can inflame and weaken gum tissues, eventually causing bone loss followed by the gum tissue detaching from the teeth. In this weakened condition even normal biting forces could loosen a tooth.

If gum disease is the primary culprit, our treatment starts there. By aggressively removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from the tooth surfaces, including deep below the gum line around the root, the gum tissues become less inflamed and begin to heal. This in turn can strengthen their attachment to a loose tooth. In more advanced cases, we may need to surgically graft lost bone and gum tissue to rebuild the attachment.

We may also need to stabilize a loose tooth while we're performing these other treatments. The most common way is to join or splint a loose tooth to nearby stable teeth. There are varieties of splints: one type involves rigid dental material bonded across the enamel of the loose tooth and its neighbors. In another, we cut a small channel in the involved teeth, and then insert a metal splint, bonding it within the channel.

Whatever needs to be done, we need to do it promptly — if you notice a loose tooth, contact us as soon as possible. The earlier we begin treatment the more likely we'll save your loose tooth.

If you would like more information on treating loose teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treatment for Loose Teeth.”


By Dentistry by Design
February 03, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal   tooth decay  

Need a root canal? Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal treatment. Dentistry by Design in Andover, MA, root canaloffers root canal therapy with a gentle touch. Here are five fabulous benefits of root canal therapy.

It Is Virtually Pain-Free
Modern technology and anesthetics allow Andover dentists to complete root canals treatments virtually pain-free. Your dentist will ensure your complete comfort during the procedure by using oral sedation or local anesthesia. Most patients report that the root canal procedure is no more painful than having a dental filling placed. 

Relieve Your Toothache
A toothache is a sign of a decaying tooth. The discomfort can range from intense and sharp to a dull ache. Its level may range from slight to extreme. The pain may affect your ability to enjoy a full night’s rest. Root canal therapy will relieve your tooth pain and improve your well-being.

Avoid Tooth Extraction
Root canal therapy will save your natural tooth and allow you to keep it functional for decades. Extraction is not a good alternative to root canal therapy. Having a tooth pulled will leave a gap that can impair the appearance of your smile and reduce the functionality of your bite. Saving your natural tooth is always the best option. 

Improve Your Smile
Teeth that have had a root canal need to be restored with a dental crown to prevent them from fracturing. All-porcelain crowns are smooth and translucent, matching the shade and size of your natural teeth. They look just like normal teeth. With a dental crown, you can have a smile that's both strong and beautiful.

It Has a High Success Rate
Root canal therapy techniques have improved significantly in recent years. Root-canal-treated teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. If a root-canal-treated tooth causes pain, the tooth can often be retreated.

Now is the perfect time to make a wise decision. Don't put off root canal therapy if you need it. Say goodbye to your toothache forever. Call Dentistry by Design in Andover, MA, at (978) 475-5333 to schedule your dental appointment. You'll be glad you did.