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Root Canal 101: Do You Need This Treatment?

A root canal is a dreaded word for patients at the dentist office, but it is nothing to be afraid of. Root canals have a bad reputation but in today’s dental world, they are much easier to complete. While no patient wants to have a root canal, the treatment type can provide relief for specific conditions. Learning more about root canals can be helpful to determine if the treatment type might work for you and how it can be used to save the natural teeth.

Understanding a Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a dental treatment that will repair and save a tooth that is damaged. When the pulp inside the tooth is damaged or infected, a root canal will be completed. When the pulp is infected and/or damaged, the nerves and blood vessels are affected. The process will see the canals of the root in the tooth cleaned out. This helps to stop any pain in the tooth.

When a root canal is provided, local anesthesia is used to numb the affected tooth. A small opening is made at the top of the tooth so the infected pulp can be removed. The dentist will remove the pulp from the canal and clean the area with an irrigation treatment.

Special material will then be placed inside the canal to keep the area free of contamination. The tooth is then sealed with a crown for more protection.

Root canals have a bad reputation for being a painful procedure. However, the pain one feels is from the infection inside the tooth and not the treatment itself. A root canal is essentially no more painful than a filling procedure.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Patients will find that there are certain signs that can indicate a root canal is needed. If you have one or more issues with your teeth that cause pain, you may require a root canal for treatment. If you are experiencing severe pain in your teeth when applying pressure or chewing, a root canal may be needed. Another sign can include pain or extreme sensitivity when the tooth or teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures.

Have you noticed a pimple around the gums, either in red, yellow or white in coloring? Has a tooth become darker in color or showing signs of discoloration? If so, you may have an issue that requires a root canal. Tenderness in the gums or swelling is yet another sign.

While there are symptoms that can indicate the need for this treatment type, signs are not always present. Visiting the dentist regularly can help to cause any signs that may show an issue within the teeth. Many times, an x-ray is the only indicator that there is an issue with an infection or an abscess.

If you are experiencing tooth pain, contact Winn Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment. With quality care services, any issues can be detected and a root canal scheduled if required.

Preventing Dry Socket: How to Avoid This Issue When Teeth are Pulled

After a tooth is pulled, there is a condition that can occur known as dry socket. This condition commonly occurs when wisdom teeth are pulled and can be quite painful. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid this problem. Learning more can help you to avoid the issue the next time a tooth is pulled.

Dry Socket

A dry socket will occur when a permanent tooth is removed and the nerve and/or bone inside the socket is left exposed. A clot should form in the socket as a form of protection but when the clot does not form, the area becomes very sensitive. Air, food, and fluids can cause sensitivity and leave the area open to infection.

If you have teeth removed, particularly wisdom teeth, and you notice a strong pain that continues to increase, then you may have a dry socket. An example of pain you may feel can include an intense feeling near the ear. You may also have a bad taste in your mouth with a dry socket.

Preventing Dry Socket

There are certain ways you can prevent being exposed to a dry socket. There are patients who will be at higher-risk of dry socket due to certain conditions. If you have a history of dry socket, have had a wisdom tooth removed, use birth control or smoke, you will be at a higher risk. Poor dental hygiene history as well as medication that stops blood clotting can lead to dry socket issues.

If you have a tooth extracted, there are steps you can take to prevent a dry socket. Following the proper precautions will help you to avoid the painful issue. Any oral antibiotics or antiseptic options provided by the dentist should be taken so that dry socket can be avoided. Always follow the instructions provided by the oral surgeon.

Instructions will include no spitting or rinsing for a 24-hour time frame. Do not drink from a straw and do not smoke for a minimum of 72 hours. Do not drink or eat any hot items and avoid anything crunchy. Avoid alcohol and limit your physical activity for a 5 to 7-day time frame.

Treating a Dry Socket

If you do happen to experience a dry socket, it is important to treat the issue correctly. You can take pain relievers, such as over-the-counter solutions or prescription medication. Topical medication may be recommended along with flushing and rinsing solutions. Do not smoke, use a straw or have sugary drinks when you have a dry socket.

Be sure to follow proper oral care to avoid damaging the area. The dentist will be able to provide you with the essential steps to caring for the dry socket, ensuring the issue is taken care of as quickly as possible.

Following the right steps to avoid a dry socket is essential to not having to deal with the pain of a dry socket. At Winn Family Dentistry, we can assist with teeth extractions and can provide proper instructions and oral health care needs to avoid dry socket problems.

How to Stop Tooth Pain: What You Need to Know

Tooth pain is a common issue among adults. Overcoming the pain associated with the teeth can be difficult unless you know what to do. Instead of opting for pain relievers or ice to the cheek, schedule a dental visit. Regular visits to the dentist are needed to ensure overall oral health, but an appointment can be scheduled at any time when you are experiencing teeth pain or other issues.

Stopping Tooth Pain

If you are experiencing tooth pain, you should see the dentist as soon as possible. Think about what may have happened. Did you experience dental trauma due to an accident, slip, and fall or other injury? Have you lost a filling? Do you think that you have an abscessed tooth? Have you seen sores or swelling in the mouth or jaw? Have you lost a tooth or have a loose tooth?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should visit the dentist as soon as possible. Tooth pain due to an accident, unknown cause or infection requires immediate professional action. An emergency visit may be needed in order to provide you with the best relief as quickly as possible.

While an over-the-counter pain reliever will help to take away the pain, it is not a permanent solution. Visiting the dentist office will ensure that the issue can be detected, and the treatment provided to stop the pain.

Stopping Tooth Pain Before It Starts

The best way to stop tooth pain is to avoid it altogether. Visit the dentist twice a year, ensuring that your teeth and gums are reviewed on a regular basis. With regular checkups, any issues can be found early. This way, any condition can be cared for as soon as possible so that you can avoid tooth pain in the future.

With regular visits, you will be able to avoid buildup of plaque which can lead to cavities that can cause pain. Visits will also stop gingivitis before it can progress and protect the teeth from any tooth decay issues.

It is not normal to have tooth pain. If you are experiencing an issue between your regular dental visit, then an appointment needs to be scheduled. If a problem goes untreated, it can lead to a greater issue that may be more painful, costly or even detrimental to your overall oral health.

Be sure to brush and floss your teeth twice a day and schedule regular dental appointments. If you are injured and are experiencing dental pain, contact the dentist immediately. Having your teeth and gums reviewed early on will ensure whatever is causing you pain can be treated. With the right professional treatment, the cause of the pain will be taken care of and you can get back to life as normal.

If you or a family member are experiencing teeth pain, schedule an appointment today. Winn Family Dentistry is ready to assist with all dental health needs, from treatment to cleanings.

Elder Dental Care: Why It’s Important

Proper oral health care is important. From children to adults, the teeth and gums need to be cared for in the best way possible. Often times, as adults age into the senior years, dental care efforts fall to the wayside. It is important for everyone, including seniors, to have access to quality dental care. Seniors need to brush and floss regularly as well as visit the dentist for regular cleanings to ensure overall quality oral health.

Why It’s Important?

During the senior years, the aging process makes individuals more susceptible to a dry mouth as well as gum disease. On top of oral health issues, there are chronic health conditions that seniors can have that will increase the risk of oral health problems.

Most people who are 65 years of age or older will have at least one chronic health condition. There are individuals who will have more than one health condition that can affect oral health. Examples of medical conditions that the elderly can have include heart disease, cancer, arthritis, hypertension, and diabetes.

These conditions will require the need to take medication. With daily medical needs, dry mouth can occur. This leads to a higher risk of gum disease as well as cavities. Certain health conditions also can correlate with dental health issues. Patients with diabetes often will suffer from the decay of the teeth or periodontal disease.

Even healthy seniors can suffer from dental issues like cavities and gum disease. Additional issues such as the loss of dental benefits or health insurance can lead to less dental visits. When visits are skipped, the seniors are more likely to be affected by dental health problems.

The Basics of Elderly Dental Care

As you get older, dry mouth can occur along with gum recession. With both of these side effects, patients can be at risk of gum disease and cavities. There is less saliva in the mouth which affects the way bacteria is removed from the mouth.

Several steps need to be taken to maintain good overall oral health care and to save your teeth as you age. For starters, be sure to visit the dentist two times a year for checkups and cleanings. If you have dentures, bridges, implants or crowns, be sure they stay in good condition. If you have any issues, speak with the dentist to ensure treatment is provided if needed.

Just as when you were a child, good oral habits are important. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth each day, twice a day, to ensure your teeth and gums stay fresh and clean. Following good oral hygiene habits and visiting the dentist can help you hang on to your natural teeth longer and enjoy quality overall health.

Your overall health is affected by the teeth and gums so staying true to your oral health will ensure you feel good. Any medical conditions you have may increase your risk for oral health issues, so be sure to discuss this with the dentist if any concerns are present.

Winn Family Dentistry is ready to assist with all dental health care needs, including for senior patients. Schedule an appointment today to remedy any issues such as dry mouth due to aging.

What to Expect from a Root Canal

If you have recently visited the dentist and require a root canal, you may be scared and fearful as to what is to come. Most everyone does not like going to the dentist and can easily become afraid of treatment needed to do the unknown. By learning more about this procedure, you will be able to feel more secure as you arrive at the dentist to complete the procedure.

Root Canal

This type of treatment is provided by a dentist for a variety of reasons, including a cracked tooth, an injury to a tooth or a deep cavity. A root canal will remove the pulp of the tooth, the threadlike tissue that is located at the center of the tooth. Once the tooth pulp is dead, has a disease or damaged, it will require removal. The space that remains after the pulp has been removed will be cleaned, then shaped and filled. The root canal is sealed off and you will no longer feel uncomfortable or pain.

A tooth that has a pulp issue can become infected. If the tooth is left untreated it can lead to pus buildup. The pus can then form an abscess on the tooth. This will destroy the bone that surrounds the tooth and cause you to feel pain.

The Procedure

If you have never had a root canal, then you may be wondering how it is completed. The treatment type has several steps. You may need to visit the dentist a few times before the procedure will be complete. First, the dentist will review your issue and tell you that a root canal is needed. The first portion of the treatment is to create an opening at the back of a front tooth, or within the crown of a molar. This is where the diseased pulp will be removed.

The dentist will complete a pulpectomy which will see the pulp removed. The chamber where the pulp was located and the root canals are then cleaned. The dentist will enlarge the area and shape it to prepare for filling.

If you will be required to visit the dentist more than one time, a temporary filling will be placed on the affected tooth. This protects the tooth between your dental visits. When you arrive back at the dentist, the temporary filling will be removed and then the tooth filled permanently. A specific material is placed inside the root canal to protect the tooth.

The final step of the process is a crown. This will help to restore the shape and appearance of the tooth. In some cases, a post might be required to help build up space for the crown to be added.

A tooth that is treated with a root canal should last a lifetime, as long as it is properly cared for. Treated teeth can still be subject to tooth decay, so be sure to take care of your oral hygiene with proper brushing and flossing daily.

Winn Family Dentistry offers root canal services along with a host of other treatment options. Schedule an appointment today if experiencing any tooth pain that might be associated with root canal needs.

Teeth Whitening: What Are the Options?

Everyone wants to have a bright white smile, but it is not always obtainable. Over time, teeth can become stained due to the foods and drinks we consume. Coffee, wine and other items can stain the teeth which creates a yellowing appearance. Thankfully, there are products and services available today that will help to brighten a smile, but what should you use? What are the best options that will produce the whitest smile?

Who Qualifies for Teeth Whitening?

Individuals who have healthy and unrestored teeth and gums will be able to use teeth whitening agents to brighten their smile. Teeth that have yellow tones will respond best to treatment options. However, with so many options available, it is important to consult with your dentist to make sure you are a candidate for the treatment you wish to use.

Using over the counter products can work, but it can also be harmful to your teeth. There are trusted products on offer by top-name dental brands as well as unknown brands offering the same products. Learning more about your options will ensure you do not use anything dangerous or cause unwanted harm to your teeth.

Whitening Toothpaste

One of the simpler formats of teeth whitening is a whitening toothpaste. These toothpastes have a polishing or chemical agent that will help to remove stains. These products do not have bleach in them and simply work to remove stains helping to bring back the original coloring of the teeth.

Whitening Gels and Strips

Another option is gels and strips, a product that is applied to the surface of the teeth to provide whitening. The product will contain peroxide for whitening and the amount of this chemical will vary depending on what you buy. When using such products, you must be careful and follow the directions exactly. Results usually begin to appear in the first few days and will last for a few months before the product needs to be reapplied.

In-Office Whitening

While there are many whitening products available on the market today, the best solution is the in-office option provided by your dentist. This is a quick way to effectively use bleach to whiten the teeth. The product is applied directly to the teeth and is used in combination with a special light or laser and heat. Results will be seen in one treatment that can last from 30 to 60 minutes.

For dramatic results, a patient will need to visit their dentist on a regular basis, setting up appointments for multiple treatments. The first treatment will show a dramatic result but to maintain the whitening look, additional appointments are needed.

If you are interested in whitening your teeth, speak with your dentist. Having your teeth reviewed and knowing your dental history can help the dentist to provide the best treatment for your individual whitening needs. At Winn Family Dentistry, teeth whitening services are provided, helping you to achieve that bright white smile you seek! Contact the office today to schedule a teeth whitening appointment.

Teeth Grinding: Can A Night Guard Really Help?

Most people grind their teeth at some point in time in their life, but the issue is not severe enough to create a health issue. However, there are individuals who grind their teeth so severely that they can have teeth issues in the future, including cracking, jaw pain, morning headaches, and other problems. Known as bruxism, teeth grinding that is severe needs to be treated to ensure the individual does not have issues in the future. It can be difficult to stop grinding your teeth on your own. A common way to stop is to use a night guard when sleeping.

Teeth Grinding

An individual who suffers from teeth grinding will have a habit of clenching the teeth in a tight fashion or rubbing them together. Grinding can happen during the daytime hours but for the most part, it occurs in the nighttime when sleeping. This is what makes the issue so serious because you have no physical control over what you do at night.

For most people, they are unaware of any grinding until they are told by someone else. Someone else hears the teeth grinding and then makes the individual aware. Children can grind their teeth at a young age but usually outgrow the act as they age, causing no harm to the teeth.

Whether you are grinding your teeth as an adult or have a child that has begun to grind theirs, it is important to be evaluated by a dentist. This way, the severity of the issue can be discovered, and a night guard or other treatment recommended.

What is a Mouth Guard?

A mouth guard is a plastic retainer that will cover your bottom or top teeth. The guard will be made specifically for your mouth and will help to cushion and guard your teeth against the force that happens when teeth are clenched. The guard will help to prevent your teeth from grinding together, thus stopping any future cracking, headaches, and other teeth grinding symptoms.

A night guard is created after the dentist takes a mold of your mouth. This will ensure the guard fits your teeth perfectly. Night guards can be purchased at a pharmacy but will not have an exact fit and can feel uncomfortable during sleep. With a customized guard, your teeth will be protected and you will be able to sleep with the guard in your mouth with ease.

Additional Treatment Options

Other than a night guard, there are other ways to stop teeth grinding. When teeth are not straight it can lead to grinding. Straightening the teeth with braces can help to stop malocclusion which can attribute to grinding.

Anxiety can also play a role in teeth grinding. The dentist may suggest that you use relaxation methods such as mediation to help you relax before bed to avoid grinding.

Is Your Dental Hygiene Up to Par?

When it comes to your teeth and gums, are you taking care of your mouth as you should be? If you are like most people, then the answer is no. Brushing your teeth each morning does not guarantee that your mouth is clean and healthy. Learning a few simple tips can ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy, preparing you for quality oral health in the future.

Proper Brushing

Have you ever considered your brushing technique? If you are using the bristles for only a few seconds, then your teeth are not cleaned well. You should be holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and use short motions going back and forth. Clean the sides, front and back of the teeth. You should also brush your teeth at least two times a day for two minutes each time. Start a timer to help with the length of time.

Flossing and Mouthwash

Most people also forget or avoid using floss and mouthwash. Without these two components, food particles, as well as bacteria, can remain in your mouth. When flossing, remove a portion of floss that is around 18 inches long to help you use clean floss for every few teeth. Use a quality mouthwash that is approved by the American Dental Association to ensure your mouth is rinsed with a good product.

Cleaning Your Toothbrush

It is also important to remember to clean your toothbrush. A toothbrush needs to be cleaned regularly and avoid using a covering. When you cover your toothbrush, you can see bacteria growth and then when you use it, the bacteria get into your mouth. After you brush your teeth, be sure to rinse your toothbrush and allow it to air dry.

For all your teeth health needs, rely on Winn Family Dentistry. With quality service options, your teeth can be cleaned, and quality suggestions made for home care.

Dental Emergencies: How to Handle Common Tooth Injuries

With brushing and flossing, we take care of our teeth daily in order to have a bright and healthy smile. But no matter how much we care for our teeth, accidents can happen. From unfortunate injuries to accidents, teeth can be broken or knocked out, leading to the need for emergency assistance. Learning what to do in the event of a dental emergency will help you to hopefully save your tooth and receive the medical care needed.

Common Types of Mouth Injuries

Both kids and adults can experience common mouth injuries. Teeth can be cracked, broken or knocked out due to contact sports, biting down on food, or other regular activities. The severity of the injury will determine if emergency service is needed as well as the location of the tooth. When dealing with a chipped tooth or a minor fracture, the situation should be manageable during the next business day.

However, if a major crack or large portion of the tooth is missing, it requires immediate assistance. You will also need to contact the dental emergency hotline if the tooth has been knocked out completely or has nerve damage. You want to handle the tooth correctly, so the dentist can work on it when you arrive at the office.

If a tooth is knocked out completely, handle it with care. If you can put the tooth back in the socket and bit down on gauze, it will help when you arrive. If you cannot do this but have the tooth, rinse it off and place in a milk or some of your saliva to keep it ready for use when you arrive at the dentist. You will need to use a cold compress on the area to stop bleeding from the tooth socket.

If you have a partially dislodged tooth, contact your dentist right away. Use a cold compress to relieve pain while you head to the dentist office. Over the counter pain meds can be taken to help with the pain until you can be seen by the dentist.

Not So Serious Emergencies

Just as there are dental emergencies that require you to see the dentist right away, there are issues that can wait. When an object becomes stuck between your teeth, it is not an emergency. Use floss at home to try and remove the lodged item. If you cannot get the object out with floss, schedule an appointment with your dentist the next business day.
A toothache is another issue that can usually wait until the dentist office is open normal hours. With a toothache, be sure to rinse your mouth with warm water and use floss to remove any food that may be lodged near the tooth. If you have swelling, use a cold compress outside the mouth. Schedule an appointment to have the tooth inspected by the dentist as soon as you can.

Overall, it is important to contact your dentist when a tooth emergency occurs, such as a knocked out or partially dislodged tooth. At Winn Family Dentistry, after hours services are available to ensure that you have the proper treatment needed to restore your smile when an accident or injury occurs.

Children’s Oral Health: Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

When becoming a parent, it soon becomes clear that we must teach our children how to be healthy. We want our kids to be productive and live long and happy lives. Part of being healthy includes oral cleaning of the teeth and gums. Without proper teeth health, children can have issues as adults, such as tooth decay. Part of oral health needs includes visiting a dentist. Once a child’s teeth begin to come in, they will be ready to start their dental habits. Choosing a pediatric dentist is one of the best ways to ensure your child is comfortable with dental visits.

Pediatric Care

Pedodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on child care. Dentists who train in this area will have to complete two additional years of training and sometimes three in order to be ready to begin their practice as a pediatric dentist. A dentist with this schooling knows how to treat all conditions that kids can face as well as having the right demeanor to help your child feel comfortable.

Pediatric dentists also have to meet separate standards than a general dentist, plus must learn how to address the specific needs of children and teenagers, which includes dental sealants and fluoride treatments.

Specialized Treatments

A pediatric dentist will be able to offer specialized treatments for your child’s dental needs. This will include oral exams for infants, relaxation medications for treatments, emergency dental care and more. Children need particular care due to their unease of the dentist or fear of the unknown. With the help of a quality pediatric dentist, your child can feel at ease and even look forward to their appointments.

At Winn Family Dentistry, pediatric care is offered to ensure every child has the proper care they need for quality oral health.