How Does Sensitive Toothpaste Work?

sensitive toothpasteSensitive teeth are a bothersome and painful problem which causes pain in the teeth when they are exposed to certain conditions. Exposure to hot and cold, even pressure can cause tooth pain for people with sensitive teeth, causing them to avoid certain foods and even activities in order to prevent it.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

The cause of sensitive teeth lies in the anatomy of a tooth. Your tooth is made up of two main parts- the crown (above the gum) and the root (below the gum). A hard covering called enamel protects the exposed portion of the tooth from decay and sensitivity.

Beneath the enamel, the tooth is made up of dentin and pulp. The pulp is the vital, part of the tooth structure which contains the blood supply and the nerve. Extending from the outside of the tooth into the nerve canal are tiny, microscopic tubules or pores.

When sensitive teeth are exposed to heat, cold and pressure, the sensation of pain occurs as a result of the nerve detecting the stimulant through the tubules. People with sensitive teeth often have a thinning of the tooth enamel, reducing its protection against feeling pain. Gum recession with resultant exposed tooth root is also a common cause.

Sensitive Toothpaste Can Help

Sensitive toothpaste works by one of two means. In some sensitive toothpaste, an ingredient called potassium nitrate causes a mild numbing of the nerve, blocking the sensation and helping ease sensitivity. Other sensitive toothpastes work by blocking the tubules which lead to the nerve inside the tooth. An ingredient called potassium nitrate builds up inside the tubules, and over time works to block them, preventing the sensation of hot and cold from reaching the nerve.

Do You Have Sensitive Teeth?

Sensitive teeth can be a real pain. Your first step to solving the problem is to have a dental check-up with Dr. Ban.  A dental exam will help make sure that your sensitive teeth are not caused by another problem such as tooth decay, gum disease or injury. Dr. Ban can recommend a sensitive toothpaste and other treatments which may be available to you in order to treat your sensitive teeth.
Give us a call today to schedule your dental check-up!

Straighter Teeth For A Healthy Smile

Invisalign alignerCrooked teeth and a misaligned bite cause cosmetic concerns, but there are many more serious reasons to correct orthodontic problems.

Dental problems that damage teeth and gums often develop in patients with misaligned teeth.  Correcting your bite before serious problems develop can help you keep teeth and gums healthy for life.

Crooked Teeth are Prone to Gum Disease

When your teeth are misaligned, rotated or overlapping, it can be difficult to keep the spaces between them clean.  Flossing between teeth is often difficult or not possible.  In cases like this, plaque and bacteria can take hold in the tight spaces between teeth.  Over time, hardened plaque around the gumline can lead to gum disease.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) damages the gum and bone tissue surrounding the roots of your teeth, and can lead to tooth loss.  As bacteria take hold in the gums, it causes the tissue to become inflammed, swollen and causes the gums to fall away from the tooth roots.  Left untreated, the infection eventually causes destruction of the bone tissue.  As the bone and gum tissue recede, teeth can become loose and eventually lost.

Crooked Teeth Are Prone to Decay

Tooth decay is common in crooked or overlapping teeth.  For the same reasons that misaligned teeth develop gum disease, they are also more prone to tooth decay.

Bacteria feed on sugar, and excrete acids that weaken tooth enamel and cause decay.

Misaligned Teeth Wear Unevenly

Uneven wear of tooth surfaces is another common effect of misaligned teeth.  When your bite out of balance, it can cause uneven pressure and wear down the enamel on tooth surfaces.  Over time, teeth can become damaged.  It is not uncommon for people with a misaligned bite to experience frequent headaches and excess strain on facial muscles that causes “myofacial pain”.

Invisalign Helps Straighten Teeth and Prevent Dental Problems

One simple way to correct orthodontic misalignment is Invisalign treatment.  Invisalign Clear Aligners are custom made to straighten teeth without braces.  Properly aligned teeth are healthier and stronger.  When teeth are straight, it is easier to keep them clean and prevent gum disease, tooth decay and uneven wear.

Advantages of Invisalign include

  • No brackets or wires on teeth
  • No dietary restrictions, simply remove the aligners for meals
  • Easier and more effective dental hygiene
  • Fast results- most patients achieve their desired result within 6-12 months.
  • Aligners are nearly invisible while worn

Ask Your Dentist If Invisalign Is Right For You

Take control of your dental health and wellness and ask your dentist if Invisalign is the right treatment option for you.  Schedule a consultation to learn more about how straightening your teeth now can help prevent serious dental problems later.

 

 

 

 

 

Are Sodas Destroying Your Teeth?

We all know a healthy diet is important to maintaining overall health and well-being, but when it comes to your dental health, your diet plays an important role as well.

Avoiding sugary snacks and making sure to brush and floss every day is a good place to start, but what about the things you drink?  Many people are not aware that sodas and fruit juices are a leading cause of tooth decay in adults.

Sodas Are An Acid Bath To Your Teeth

Let’s take closer look at sodas to understand exactly how they can damage your teeth and lead to cavities.

Sodas, even diet sodas are extremely acidic.  Acids in foods and drinks cause damage to your tooth enamel- the hard protective exterior of the tooth structure.  When you drink an acidic soda, fruit juice, flavored water or even sports drinks, the acid bathes your tooth surfaces.  Normally, your saliva will wash away the acids and restore normal psoda factsH in the mouth, but when acidic drinks are consumed too frequently, or sipped on all day, there is no time between acid baths for your body to correct the pH.  Frequent exposure to acids wears on your tooth enamel, causing acid erosion.  Early symptoms may be excess sensitivity to cold or hot food.  As enamel erosion progresses, sensitivity increases as more of the dentin (interior of the tooth) is exposed.  As enamel softens and becomes more porous, pain can increase.

Porous and Softened Enamel Is Susceptible To Tooth Decay

When tooth enamel breaks down, it leaves the tooth susceptible to tooth decay.  As enamel breaks down, teeth lose mineral content.  Enamel erosion can change the surface of the tooth, leaving tiny weak areas for cavity-causing bacteria to take hold.  Simply avoiding sugar is not enough to prevent this damage from occurring.  Drinking water or milk are your best defenses against enamel erosion.

A study in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry concluded that nearly 79% of study participants showed signs of dental erosion.  The most common cause was frequent consumption of sodas and fruit juices.

Avoid Sodas For Dental Health

Avoiding sodas, fruit juices and flavored waters or sports drinks is good advice.  If you cannot kick the habit completely, then watch how you consume these beverages.  Drink a soda or sports drink at once, rather than sip on it slowly.  This will allow your body to correct the pH imbalance that occurs with acidic drinks.  Follow up your acidic beverage with water.  Some studies conclude that brushing immediately after an acidic drink is not a good idea, because enamel softened by the acid can be worn away by brushing.  Instead, rinse well with water and brush later.

Help For Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can be caused by acid erosion.  See your Saratoga dentist for an examination if you have painful, sensitive teeth.  Treatments including fluoride application and preparations that can restore mineral content are available from your dentist.

How Two Hours a Year Can Save You Time and Money on Dental Care

dental healthHalf of American adults avoid going to the dentist unless they are experiencing a painful dental emergency. When many people think about going to the dentist, pangs of dread cause them to postpone an appointment even longer.  The problem with this kind of thinking is that postponement of dental care, especially when there is a problem, actually makes the problem worse, more painful and more expensive to repair.

The truth about dental care is that staying on track with regular dental visits actually prevents many dental problems from occurring in the first place.  In addition, seeing your dentist at least every six months makes it possible to detect problems while they are small, painless and easy to repair.

It is possible for a person with good dental hygiene habits, who sees their dentist regularly, to not experience serious dental problems, toothaches and extensive dental work.   In fact, regular dental care can help prevent serious problems like tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer.

Here are the ways a one-hour dental check-up and professional teeth cleaning can help prevent serious dental problems and have a positive impact on your overall health:

  • Regular dental cleanings remove plaque that cannot be reached by brushing and flossing alone.  This helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Regular dental cleanings are the only way to remove hardened plaque (tartar) which is proven to contribute to cavities and gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.
  • Your dental examination includes an oral cancer screening.  Oral cancer is the 6th most common cancer in the US. Early detection of changes in oral tissue can save lives.
  • Maintaining healthy teeth and gums supports overall health.  Over 120 systemic diseases have oral manifestations that can be identified in the mouth.
  • A study conducted by the University of California, Berkley concluded that women who receive regular dental care reduce their risk of heart disease by a third.
  • Regular dental exams make it possible to detect tooth decay and gum disease early, while treatment or reversal is simple, painless and less expensive

The average dental check-up and teeth cleaning appointment takes about an hour, twice a year.  That’s 2 hours of your time, out of 8,760 hours in a year.  That’s .00023% of a year that you can use to maintain healthy teeth and gums,  improve your smile, support your overall health AND save money on the cost of dental care.

Give your Saratoga dentist, Dr. Kathleen Ban and associates, a call to schedule your appointment today.