Posts for category: Oral Health
Although good oral hygiene habits reduce your risk of tooth decay, many people still develop cavities. In fact, 92 percent of U.S. adults have had one or more cavities, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. If you have tooth decay, restorative fillings offered by your Honeoye Falls, NY, family dentist also serving Mendon, NY, Dr. Gregory Lowenguth of HFL Dental, provide important benefits for your smile.
Why Restoring Your Teeth is Important
A cavity develops when tooth decay attacks your tooth enamel. If the decay isn't treated promptly it can spread to other teeth or reach your pulp, causing an infection called an abscess. Abscesses are particularly dangerous, as the infection can spread to other parts of your body.
Removing the decayed portion of your tooth and replacing it with a filling at the Honeoye Falls, NY, dental office also serving Mendon, NY, stops decay from destroying your tooth and protects your health. The sooner your cavity is filled, the better. Although adding a filling protects and restores your tooth, removing tooth structure weakens the tooth slightly. If your cavity is large, you're more likely to need more than just a standard filling to protect and restore your tooth. Dental crowns may also be needed if you've had a large cavity.
These days, teeth are usually filled with composite resin, a plastic-based material that's available in many tooth-colored shades. Tooth-colored fillings offer these advantages:
- Natural Appearance: Not so long ago, everyone knew you had a filling every time you opened your mouth. That's not the case with tooth-colored fillings. The filling material is selected to match the natural shade of your teeth, which makes your dental work blend in with your tooth enamel. Your filling also won't discolor your tooth over time, a problem that can happen with silver amalgam fillings.
- Stronger Tooth: Composite fillings bond to your enamel, strengthening your tooth. Tooth-colored fillings only require the removal of a small amount of healthy tooth structure surrounding the cavity, which also helps keep your tooth stronger.
- Reduced Cracking Risks: Silver amalgam fillings expand and contract when you eat or drink hot and cold beverages. Expansion and contraction may eventually crack your tooth, increasing your risk of a break or dental abscess. Fortunately, your composite resin filling won't expand or contract no matter what you eat or drink.
Are you concerned that you may have a cavity? Call your family dentist in Honeoye Falls, NY, also serving Mendon, NY, Dr. Lowenguth of HFL Dental, at (585) 624-1917 to schedule an appointment.
Would you like to help your children avoid cavities and gum disease? Teaching them good oral hygiene will help them protect their smiles throughout their entire lives. Dr. Greg Lowenguth, your family dentist serving Honeoye Falls and Mendon, NY, and the entire area, helps your family care for their smiles with dental exams, cleanings and treatments.
How you can help your child master good oral hygiene skills
Brushing and flossing probably aren't the highlights of your child's day. In fact, oral hygiene sessions may be more than a little stressful if your son or daughter is a reluctant brusher. Fortunately, these steps may make the process much more enjoyable for both of you:
- Add a Little Fun to Oral Hygiene: Everything in life is easier if it's fun, including oral hygiene. Toddlers may appreciate brightly colored toothbrushes decorated with cartoon characters, while older kids might like watching videos, listening to music or using toothbrushing apps while brushing and flossing.
- Start Oral Hygiene Early: Use a moist washcloth or piece of gauze to remove plaque from your baby's gums. Once the first tooth appears, use a small toothbrush and a rice-sized dab of toothpaste to clean the tooth. Starting oral hygiene at a young age protects your child's smile and makes brushing and flossing a normal part of your son or daughter's schedule.
- Stick to a Routine: When your child brushes around the same time every day, oral hygiene becomes just another part of their daily routine. Make sure they floss once a day to remove plaque between teeth. Show your child how to hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the teeth when brushing. (Keep in mind that kids may need help brushing and flossing until they're 7 or even a little older.)
- Choose the Best Tools: Child-sized toothbrushes and toothpaste flavors your child likes will make brushing much easier. You'll find bubblegum, watermelon and other flavors at Mendon and Honeoye Falls stores. When you buy toothpaste, make sure the product features the American Dental Association seal. All toothpastes that display the seal include fluoride, a mineral that rebuilds weak tooth enamel and prevents cavities.
Regular checkups are an important part of good oral hygiene. Call your family dentist Dr. Lowenguth at (585) 624-1917 to schedule your appointment. His Honeoye Falls office serves Mendon, NY, and the surrounding area.
Your gums support your teeth, providing a protective seal against damage and infection. However, this oral tissue needs continual care to remain viable. At HFL Dental in Mendon, NY, Dr. Greg Lowenguth provides routine gum care and treats periodontitis. Your family dentist helps patients keep their teeth and stay healthy.
What periodontal disease?
Also known as gum disease, periodontitis is the infection and inflammation of your gum tissue with Strep bacteria. Contained in plaque and tartar, these germs grow and grow, unless your brushing, flossing, and in-office cleanings with your Mendon family dentist remove them.
Unfortunately, many people ignore their periodontal health, and tooth loss results. Additionally, respected organizations, such as the American Heart Association, cite research which indicates gum health and systemic health are intimately linked. People with periodontitis often have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, hypertension and other serious issues.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Gum disease varies in symptoms and severity. Many people may not notice they have mild gingivitis with its limited redness and/or bleeding during brushing and flossing.
However, periodontitis is very noticeable. People have symptoms such as:
- Gum puffiness and tenderness
- Changes in gum color
- Loose teeth
- Gum recession
- Exposed tooth roots
- Changes in the fit of a denture or in how teeth close together
- Bad breath which doesn't get better with mouth wash or tooth brushing
In addition, your dentist will notice deepening pockets between your teeth and gums. Measured with a small metal probe, pockets deeper than three millimeters are diagnostic for periodontal disease.
What you can do
If Dr. Lowenguth diagnoses periodontal disease, he will recommend a deep cleaning and tooth planing to remove plaque and tartar deposits. Sometimes, antibiotic therapy is necessary. More extensive disease may require gum surgery or grafting to replace damaged tissues.
Of course, the best cure is prevention. Work hard to improve your daily brushing and flossing routine. See the team at HFL Dental twice a year for a cleaning and check-up. Also, be sure to:
- Drink water to hydrate your gums
- Eat a high-fiber diet
- Limit alcohol
- Never smoke or chew tobacco
- Contact your family dentist at his Mendon office if you notice any changes whatsoever in how your mouth looks or feels
They are your gums
Their health is so important. At HFL Dental, Dr. Greg Lowenguth will help you achieve your best periodontal health. Call us with any questions, won't you? Phone your family dentist in Mendon at (585) 624-1917.