23Apr

Dental emergencies are always inconvenient and often painful. Prompt treatment is almost always necessary to alleviate pain and to ensure the teeth have the best possible chance of survival. ALWAYS contact your dentist immediately if you experience a dental emergency. Chapel Hill emergency dentist Dr. Diane Hourigan explains the more common dental emergencies and how you should handle them:

Severe Pain

This is the most common type of emergency, and it’s an indication that a serious problem is developing. After you call your dentist, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers and a cold compress on and off your face for 20-minute intervals.

Knocked-Out (Avulsed) Tooth

If a tooth has been knocked out of the mouth, it is crucial for you to deal with it immediately. Contact your Chapel Hill emergency dentist immediately because if the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth once again.

  • DO NOT touch the root of the tooth to avoid damaging attached tissue. Handle it carefully by the crown and rinse under warm water.
  • Place the tooth in a cup of milk, saliva, or water. It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.
  • If your emergency involves trauma to the face or jaw, or you experience excessive bleeding, call 911 or go directly to an emergency room.

Lost Filling or Crown

Once you’ve lost a filling the affected tooth may become highly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure. When a crown comes out, make a dental appointment as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you may damage the tooth and require a new restoration. Wrap the crown in tissue and bring it to the dentist. A lost crown can often be reused if we can replace it immediately.

Cracked or Broken Teeth

Natural teeth are strong, but they are still prone to fractures, cracks, and breaks. If the crack extends into the root, the pain may be extreme. If a tooth fractured or cracked, you must see an emergency dentist as quickly as possible.

Don’t let a dental emergency compromise your oral health. Call us right away to get the fast relief you need!

09Apr

Do you brush and floss routinely, avoid sugary foods and drinks, and see your dentist for scheduled appointments but still get cavities? Do you have friends who don’t follow healthy oral habits and don’t deal with tooth decay and wonder if there’s any fairness left in the world?

Your Chapel Hill general dentist understands your frustration! How is it possible to take care of your teeth and still get cavities? It turns out that your genes may be responsible.

It’s Not Just about Bacteria

Keeping your mouth free of harmful bacteria is essential if you want a healthy smile, but another significant factor is the resistance of your teeth. A study conducted by two researchers from the University of Zurich shows a definite condition between defects in the gene complex that’s responsible for the formation of tooth enamel and the rate of caries (cavities).

What This Means for You

There’s a lot more study that needs to be conducted in this area to understand how these findings can change the way we approach oral health care. But whether or not your genetic makeup puts you at higher risk for tooth decay, there are always steps you can take:

  • Make sure your oral hygiene’s up to par – Brushing and flossing for decades does not make you an expert, and if you aren’t doing it properly, you may not be getting the benefit of your efforts. Talk to your hygienist to “brush up” on your oral hygiene for the best results.
  • Keep up with routine dental appointments – Prevention is the key to enjoying good oral health, making semi-annual exams and cleanings with your general dentist crucial. Decide if you’d rather take a couple of hours out of your week now or wait until you need costly and complex treatment!
  • Pay attention to what you eat and drink – Certain foods, especially those high in sugar and acid, are very damaging and weaken dental enamel which can lead to cavities.

 

Please Call to Arrange an Appointment

Your family dentist can offer you many helpful tips for keeping your smile healthy, regardless of genetics. If you would like to learn more, please call the Novato family dentist to arrange a convenient appointment.