Month: May 2014

How do tooth cavities develop?

Many people are prone to cavities due to improper maintenance of the teeth,  so it is very important to take good care of  them from early stages to prevent any tooth decay or disease.

Cavities will form due to a buildup of bacteria and plaque on the teeth’s surface. The tartar and plaque will build up on your after a period of time, create a very acidic environment in the area and eat away at the enamel forming tiny holes in the hard surface of the tooth, otherwise known as tooth decay.

With time, this acidic environment keeps getting stronger on the surface area of your tooth and  these tiny holes will increase in size and become larger cavities. Symptoms of cavities include irritation, sensitivity to foods that are hot, cold or sweet,  and may cause toothaches. Treatment of the cavity includes tooth remineralization and restorations such as composite fillings, ceramic inlays, onlays or after extensive decay endodontic treatment,  the dreaded root canal.

Tooth remineralization includes reversing very shallow cavities by treating them with a substance that contains fluoride or calcium that re-hardens and remineralizes the tooth structure.

Restoration  such as composite fillings or inlays are the most basic types and are placed when a there is small or average sized cavity. However, when the cavity increases in  size, an onlay may be needed to restore the tooth.

In more serious cases, if the cavity extends to the center nerve of the tooth and becomes infected, a root canal will need to be performed.

These  could easily be prevented if you make sure to drink a lot of water, brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly and visit the dentist at least twice a year.

 

 

 

 

By: Lillian B.

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Tongue piercings & the negative effects on your teeth

 

Tongue piercings may be a part of a popular trend, however many people who want one do not take into consideration the destructive effect it can have on your teeth. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGO) states that chipped teeth, drooling, gum damage, nerve damage, taste loss, tooth loss, swelling of the tongue and infection are all direct results of tongue piercings. In severe cases, it can also lead to Periodontitis, an infection causing severe complications with tooth loss and severe bone loss. The following are some effects of tongue piercings:

Receding Gums: Receding gums are a natural occurrence of aging. However, this process is known to be quickened after receiving a tongue piercing. The jewelry rubs and scrapes against the gums, causing it to become irritated and inflamed. Thus, the gums will slowly start to recede and expose a part of the tooth’s root, causing a sensitivity and pain to the person.

Broken Teeth: Approximately 47% of people who have worn tongue piercings after 2 years or longer have been prone to chipped teeth. Thus, it is common for people with tongue piercings to chip their teeth while completing daily actions such as, sleeping, eating talking and chewing. This is a result of the tooth enamel weakening from constant contact with the piercing jewelry. After chipping or breaking of your tooth, you may need dental fillings, crowns, root canals, or tooth extractions. A higher expense for both you and your health.

Swelling of the Tongue: The swelling of the tongue may result in difficulty eating, swallowing and breathing. After placement, if the swelling is severe enough  and blocks your airway, you may  need immediate medical action, such as hospitalization.

Infection: Lastly, once you pierce your tongue, you must be aware that you are now vulnerable to infection, which can be very painful and dangerous. In severe cases, infection causes deep pockets filled with plaque, tartar, and bacteria to form between teeth and gums, eating away at bone tissue. This form of serious infection is known as Periodontitis.

Tongue piercings may look cool, however the long term health risks it imposes on your teeth is not. Image

 

By: Lillian B.