Month: October 2014

Toothpick May Damage Teeth

<< Topic in Family Dentist Dentistry Dental Office in Tempe AZ >>

Food debris can get stuck in between two teeth and this causes discomfort.  The best way to remove the food debris is by flossing and brushing with toothbrush.  However, some people prefers to use the toothpick. As a practicing dentist, I have seen some people actually inadvertently damage their teeth with the use of toothpick.  The main reason for the damage is that the insertion of toothpick in between two teeth can slowly damage the root surface area of the teeth.  This is due to the fact that the root surface does not have the enamel layer and it is considered “softer.”  I have seen some people have created a cavity from the damage caused by the repeated uses of toothpick.

I advocate the use of dental floss.  If the person does not have manual dexterity, he/she can buy the pre-fabricated flossing device from the pharmacy.  It is optimal to floss and brush teeth after each meal.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing Cosmetic Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

Dental Sealants Can Help Prevent Dental Cavities

Naturally, there are many grooves, pits and fissures on the surface of our teeth, especially the posterior molar teeth.  They are formed as results of natural tooth development.  A tooth is formed by multiple “lobes” from a tooth bud in a neonatal. When these lobes are fused together, a fissure is created in between these two adjacent lobes.

Some people may have deep grooves on their teeth and these teeth are more likely to accumulate stains and food debris.  Over time, bacteria in the food debris within the fissures will secrete acidic metabolic byproducts which would dissolve the tooth structure and thus forms the dental cavities.

Dental Cavities formation on deep grooves and fissures

Cavities can develop within the deep grooves and fissures on teeth.

Before these fissures and pits become decayed or cavitated, dentist would clean out any stains and apply a coating to seal off these small imperfection on the tooth.  The coating is called dental sealants.  Usually, pediatric dentist would apply sealants on kid’s teeth.

I routinely apply sealants for children and teenagers in my dental office.  I would first check the tooth to make sure there is no decay or cavities on the tooth.  I would polish off any superficial staining.  Then I would chemically treat the tooth and then apply the sealants.  The sealant is like a coating which helps protect the tooth.

If you have a child who hasn’t had sealant applications, you can bring him/her to my office for sealants.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Practicing Cosmetic Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

 

Calcified Plaque Can Cause “Toothache”

Calcified plaque are unremoved food debris that become hardened and adhered onto the surface of a tooth.  Within the calcified plaque, millions of bacteria can grow which causes localized inflammation to the gingival tissue around the tooth.  Also, the gingival pockets will enlarge and external stimulants such as cold water, sour beverages, etc can penetrate to the root surface of the tooth and causes “toothache.”  The root surface of the tooth is usually more prone to sensitivity because it does not have the outer enamel layer as the coronal portion of the tooth does.  So whenever there is stimulant reaching the root, the tooth is more susceptible to the stimulation.

The cure to this problem is to mechanically remove the calcified plaque within the sulcus of the tooth.  This can be done by a regular cleaning procedure if the person does not have periodontal disease.  However, if there is periodontal disease, then periodontal treatment such as scaling and root planing procedure, would be necessary.  Also, rinsing with medicated mouth rinse can help decrease the bacteria level and this decreases the inflammation.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

Practicing Family Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.

 

Non-surgical Ways to Treat Sensitive Teeth

Teeth can become sensitive for variety of reasons.  There could be some underlying pathology and infection causing the sensitivity.  The Dentist would first gather necessary information such as patient’s medical and dental history, take necessary Xray radiograph and perform clinical exam to screen for any pathology.  The tooth might have cavity, infection or defect causing the sensitivity.  The tooth can be sensitive to cold, hot, palpation and/or percussion.  If there is pathology, Dr would have to treat the pathology and repair the defect.

However, if there is no pathology, teeth can still become sensitive because there is some combination of external stimuli and internal anatomy of the tooth causing such sensitivity.  The teeth might have wider dental tubules allowing external stimuli to stimulate the nerve ending within the tooth.  Dentinal tubules are small microscope channels scatter across the enamel of the tooth extending from the pulp to the exterior surface.  External stimuli, such as cold and hot temperature, can pass thru these dentinal tubules to the interior nerve pulp of the tooth.

There are non-surgical ways to treat the sensitive teeth if there are no other dental pathologies.  Fluoride and potassium nitrate within the special fluoride toothpaste can help alleviate the sensitivity.  Fluoride can strengthen the tooth by remineralization of the enamel and it also works by plugging up the dentinal tubules so that external stimuli is less likely to pass thru the tubules to cause irritation to the internal nerve pulp.    Potassium nitrate can enter into the dentinal tubules and create soothing effect.  In the dental office, dentist can apply fluoride varnish on the tooth and fluoride is allowed to penetrate into the tooth for protection.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Dental Office in Tempe AZ

Practicing Family Dentist Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona.