Cosmetic dentistry and Oral health

Ad Min - Monday, February 15, 2021

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the aesthetic appearance of teeth. The appearance of teeth, positioning of teeth, colour and brightness of teeth, their alignment etc. are all covered by this branch of dentistry.

Correcting the gum, bite and altering the appearance is possible by using different cosmetic dentistry procedures. Some patients may have acquired conditions like discoloration of teeth due to prolonged medicine intake. In such situations, cosmetic dental medicine provides the much-needed confidence boost.

Proper oral function is one of the basic requirements in making sure the body obtains nutrition in the right form. If the oral function is impaired then the effect is seen in the overall health of the body. Oral hygiene is improved through this method, cleaner and healthier and sparkling teeth also makes sure there is no plaque or tartar build up in the mouth. Possible bacterial infections are cut off and oral health is promoted. 

Teeth whitening

Getting sparkling shiny teeth is everyone’s dream. Removing discolouration from the teeth is possible through different teeth whitening procedures. It is not just about adding sparkle; the procedure also involves cleaning the teeth, removing the plaque and tartar build-up in the mouth and removing possible infection sites.

Food debris gets stuck in the mouth and can even remain without proper oral hygiene. Bacteria get attracted to these sites and they work on the sugary content of the food and release acids that harm the teeth. The strong dental enamel covering of the teeth is eroded by this action. Teeth that have deposits of plaque can lose their colour and become yellowish.

Teeth discolouration is also triggered through habits like smoking and using tobacco, food stains get absorbed into the teeth when the enamel is lost. Coffee, wine, berries also bring about change in the teeth colour. All these concerns can be restored by teeth whitening techniques, and oral health is also preserved along with it.

Gum Corrections

Gum tissues or lining can get damaged due to lack of proper hygiene or due to genetics. Bacterial action can cause the gums to recede from their normal position and more teeth become visible. In this situation, when more teeth are visible – it can lead to a rise in damage to the teeth in general and also increased teeth sensitivity. Roots of the teeth get exposed and loss of teeth due to tooth decay is also seen. Surgery can be conducted to fix this issue and cover the overexposed teeth. Gum tissue also obtains extra support and can be strengthened against possible infections.

Sagging of gum tissues is typically seen when the health of the gum lining is compromised. Cosmetic surgery can help fix issues in gum lining. Usually they are performed along with other procedures like dental veneers or dental crowns. Besides providing much needed oral health support, it improves the overall appearance of the teeth.

Teeth restorations

Teeth sometimes get cracked, chipped or fractured due to trauma to the mouth. This can be due to falls, accidents or sports injuries. This requires restorative treatment procedures like crowns, fillings, bridges. They help restore the structural and to some extent the function of the teeth.

Fillings can be used to treat cavities formed in the teeth. The decay formed in the inner pulp area of the tooth is removed and then sealed with filling material. This helps prevent further decay of the teeth and also stops the surrounding teeth and tissues from getting affected.

Crowns may be placed on top of the teeth, to give shape to teeth that are been broken due to a fall and also give strength to damaged teeth. When teeth are lost, other remaining teeth gradually slip into the gap left by the tooth. This will result in misalignment of the teeth and also results in a change of facial structure. Bridges help with replacement teeth in these gaps to restore oral health and support the surrounding teeth as well.

Teeth alignment

Not all of us are blessed with a perfect smile. Most people have teeth that are crooked, misaligned, or jutting out. Straightening them or aligning them is not just for good appearance, but also required for good oral function. Not correcting alignment issues can lead to oral and dental problems affecting jaws, teeth and also the bone structure.

Traditionally, metal braces are used to shift teeth to their aligned position. But now there are Invisalign braces that are easy to remove and wear and not visible at all.

Having too many teeth is also an issue that affects teeth alignment. With proper treatment, the teeth that jut out are aligned and if required the ‘extra’ teeth are extracted.

Sometimes, the top and bottom jaws are not in contact with each other – creating issues like overbite, underbite, crossbite etc. These also result in issues for the jaw bones and wear and tear in the teeth. There are procedures that can correct these issues and reduce the associated jaw and neck pain.

Dental implants

You may lose teeth due to aging, accidents etc. Earlier, dentures were the only answer to this problem. But now dental implants are available, and they are a more permanent solution.

The replaced teeth are fixed into position in the jaw bone and they are fitted with natural looking teeth. Implants help support neighbouring teeth and loss stop bone loss. Prevention of sagging muscles and premature aging are also some of the other benefits of dental implants.

As you can see, cosmetic surgery is not just about improving appearance, it also improves dental health.

Is a painful cavity a dental emergency?

Ad Min - Thursday, February 11, 2021

Most people experience some kind of dental pain at some stage in their life. The pain can range from minor to major in terms of intensity and duration.

Dental cavities may cause some discomfort and pain, but most cavities typically do not cause major emergencies. When pain persists, it persuades people to visit their dentists. But small and minor pains due to cavities may also develop into severe pain and can be considered as an emergency.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a hole in your tooth. Cavities are also known as dental caries or dental decay. Cavities in the teeth leads the decay in the tooth right up to the roots of the tooth and gums.

Causes of Cavities

The main culprit of dental cavities is poor dental hygiene. Our mouth has saliva which breaks down food and turns it into sugar. Then there are remnants of sugar left over from starchy foods. There are also sugars that are left behind in the mouth from sticky sweet foods. All these leftover sugar in the mouth become food for the bacteria which are already residing in the mouth.

The bacteria break down sugar and create a thin film on the teeth called plaque. Plaque in turn attracts more bacteria. Acids are formed as a by-product of plaque creation due to the breakdown of sugar by bacteria. This process can go on, and bacteria multiplies as a result.

This causes the enamel of the teeth to decay and expose dentin and pulp underneath. When the decay reaches the root of the tooth in the gums, the exposed nerves create a sensation of pain, and may increase in intensity if left untreated.

When does the pain become unbearable?

As the decay progresses, the teeth develop sensitivity and pain.

The decay usually begins on the top layer of the tooth which is the enamel. When the decay progresses, it moves to the second layer which is dentin. Then untreated decay reaches the pulp, which is when you start getting sharp pain in the tooth. The holes in the tooth keep getting larger and goes deeper. This starts affecting the dental tissues.

When the cavities reach a stage where it has created abscess and infection, it is called an emergency because it results in unbearable pain.

Why a dental cavity becomes an emergency

When the cavity goes untreated and reaches the pulp, the bacteria and infection reach the roots of the tooth where dental tissues lie. The roots are sensitive to infection and create shooting pain in the tooth. It also makes the site inflamed and the inflammation in turn creates more pain. The infection at this stage can spread quickly and you may find an entire side painful to touch. This is called a dental emergency and you have to get immediate treatment for the toothache.

When you find yourself in this throbbing pain, seek an emergency appointment with your dentist.

What to do till you see your dentist

Having cold compress put onto the affected site is a good remedy for the intense pain. There are many pain-relieving gels available in the market over the counter. You must also ask for pain relievers over the counter.

Even when you have taken the pain reliever, do go and see the dentist because the  pain is only a symptom. The cause is still there and if you keep taking pain relievers over the counter the end result could even be loss of teeth.

What emergency treatment you can receive from the dentist

When you see the dentist for the emergency treatment of your cavity, he will examine you and decide on how much damage has been done. He may then decide to do a root canal treatment or may be start on a course of treatment to subside the swelling and infection. He may prescribe antibiotics for the infection and then decide whether or not the tooth should be removed.

How to prevent cavities

Cavities are considered dental emergency if the pain is unbearable and if you find shooting pain in the middle of the night when no dentist is available.
You can avoid such emergencies with simple steps take regularly.

  1. Good oral hygiene routine

It is vital to have a rigid routine of taking care of your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing is a must. When you get up in the morning do robust cleaning. Use a good fluoride toothpaste and good quality firm toothbrush. Flossing your teeth before going to bed is a must because brushing does not remove particles of food from between the teeth.

  1. Regular check up

Visit your dentist regularly because even if you do not have any pain or dental issues it is advisable to go for regular checkups so that minor issues do not turn into major troubles.

  1. Taking steps for bruxism

If you have the habit of grinding teeth during sleep. It is best to consider treating it. Talk to your dentist and get yourself mouthguard so that teeth do not create any problem in the future.

  1. Following the dentist’s instructions

Going to see the dentist regularly is of no use if you do not follow his instructions.  Sometimes when we do not have any dental problems we tend to ignore the instruction given by the dentist. Do follow their advice because small things turn big in no time and then you may be required to spend money to treat dental issues which could have been avoided.

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