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Ask Your Gettysburg Dentist about Abscessed Teeth

Posted by Peter Samuels on Sun, Apr 24, 2016 @ 15:04 PM

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There are a number of causes of toothache, including decay, injury, sinus problems, and even clenching or grinding. An abscessed tooth-- which is an infection that occurs in the pulp of the tooth and can then spread to the bone and tissues surrounding the tooth root, can be a serious dental emergency that needs prompt treatment.

Symptoms

Could you possibly have an abscessed tooth? Only your dentist can tell you for sure, but consider the following symptoms:

  • Tooth pain If you have persistent, severe pain that wakes you up at night an abscessed tooth might be the cause.
  • Fever. An abscessed tooth is an infection, so the body may respond with a fever.
  • Swollen gums. Periodontal disease is the most common cause of gum discomfort. An abscessed tooth, however, can also cause swollen, red, and tender gums. Sometimes, an open, draining sore on the gums will also be present.
  • Foul-smelling breath. While there are many causes of halitosis, persistent, foul-smelling breath can be indicative of an abscessed tooth. Likewise, a bitter taste in the mouth should prompt further investigation.
  • No Symptoms. Surprisingly, many abscessed teeth do not hurt at all.  Pain from an abscessed tooth is caused by pressure building up in the bone. If the infection finds a place to drain or dissipate, there may be no pain.  Signs of an abscess can show up on a routine dental x-ray, usually as a dark shadow above the root tip.

Prevention

The main culprit behind an abscessed tooth is severe tooth decay. Your best line of defense against developing an abscessed tooth is good oral hygiene, including:

  • Regular brushing. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and more often if you've been indulging in sugary snacks or carb-loaded food.
  • Flossing. Brushing alone is not enough. Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene; floss can reach the areas between the teeth where food particles and bacterial plaque get trapped.
  • Preventive care. Visiting your dentist for check-ups, professional cleanings and fluoride treatments is a vital part of maintaining a healthy smile. It’s the only way to catch cavities when they are small before the decay gets close to the pulp and can cause a dental abscess. 

 

Peter J. Samuels is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

717-334-0555   GettysburgFamilyDentist.com

Topics: Dentist Gettysburg, Absessed tooth

New to Dentures?  Here are some Cleaning Tips from your Gettysburg Denture Specialist!

Posted by Julie Berger on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 @ 18:04 PM

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You've just got your first set of dentures and you're not sure how to clean them. Don't worry: you're Gettysburg denture specialist is here to help! The following advice (and cleaning procedure) will ensure that you properly clean your dentures.

Safety Procedures

Before cleaning your dentures for the first time, it's important to follow a few basic guidelines, which include:

  • Never clean your dentures in boiling water. Remember, your dentures are made of material that may warp and make it impossible to fit them in your mouth.
  • Dentures are strong, but not impossible to break. Dropping them while cleaning over a hard surface (such as a sink) can cause serious damage. Fill the sink with water before cleaning to help cushion the blow.  Or place a towel or washcloth in the sink to help cushion the blow.
  • Never use metal scrapers, scouring pads, hard brushes, or other abrasive cleaning tools, as they can scratch the surface of your dentures.

Follow these simple safety procedures when cleaning your dentures and they'll last a lot longer.

Daily Cleaning Method

You're going to have to take great care to clean your dentures every day. Start by brushing your dentures after every meal. Take them out of your mouth and scrub them with antibacterial soap and a soft or ultra soft toothbrush. Make sure to pay attention to areas that are hard to reach towards the back of the mouth. Scrub the "gum" area to avoid bad breath.

Now, run your dentures under warm water to break away any food particles. To eliminate nasty smells, soak them in denture tablet cleaner for overnight to remove bacteria and stain. Rinse them with water before returning to your mouth.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your dentures ensures that they will stray strong, sturdy, and wear-free for years to come. In fact, it can elongate their lifespan up to 20 years!

 

Julie C. Berger DDS, MS is a Gettysburg dentist and board certified prosthodontist.

717-334-0555  GettysburgProsthodontist.com

Topics: dentures Gettysburg

Gettysburg Dentist Debunks Dental Myths

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Apr 5, 2016 @ 17:04 PM

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Millions of Americans have fear, stress, or anxiety associated with going to the dentist. In extreme cases, the fear is so profound that it's classified as dental phobia. Often, this fear is intensified by a belief in several common dental myths. Let's examine some of the most prevalent myths concerning dental care and the truth behind the misconceptions:

If I don't eat sugar, I won't get cavities. Cutting sugar from your diet isn't necessarily a bad idea, but it's also not a surefire guarantee that you'll live a cavity-free life. That's because cavities are caused by acid that's produced by harmful bacteria in the mouth. Any type of carb you eat provides fuel for the acid-producing bacteria. This doesn't mean that you have to live a carb-free life, either; it simply means that you should attempt to eat a balanced diet and make an effort to brush your teeth after a carb-filled meal. 

If I brush my teeth, I don't need to floss.  Many people believe that, as long as they're brushing their teeth twice a day, they're in the clear. That is simply not the case. Flossing is not an optional part of your oral hygiene routine; it's an essential part. Floss can reach between the teeth where the toothbrush misses, releasing food particles and bacterial plaque that could lead to decay.

I'll know if I have a cavity because it will hurt. Sometimes, people avoid the dentist for years, reasoning that they can't possibly have a cavity because their teeth don't hurt. While cavities can be painful, pain typically occurs after the cavity has grown and progressed. Thus, you can have a small cavity with no pain at all. That's why it's essential to visit the dentist every 6 months; small cavities can be caught and treated with conservative bonding before they become bigger concerns.

Peter J. Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com                   717-334-0555

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