Archive for March, 2011

What to do about a Toothache

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

You wake up in the middle of the night to a throbbing sensation in your tooth. Tooth decay or an abscess usually causes this kind of pain. You will need to see a dentist as soon as possible to resolve the issue. But if you experience signs of a true dental emergency, contact your dentist right away.

Until you can get an appointment, you can try some of these home remedies to help ease some discomfort:

  • Apply an over-the-counter oral analgesic ointment to temporarily numb the area.
  • Look to see if food could be trapped between teeth and causing pressure. If so, dental floss can remove the irritant and you can rinse the area with warm water.
  • Mix bay berry bark with vinegar and apply the paste to the aching tooth.
  • Place a wet, black tea bag on your gums to relieve soreness; this may also help stop any bleeding.
  • Crush a piece of garlic clove and place it on the affected tooth.  Garlic is a natural antiseptic and pain reliever.
  • For pain in your gums, try applying an ice pack against the side of the face. Switch to heat if cold doesn’t help. Apply a hot compress and gargle with warm salt water.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, but don’t choose aspirin. If you need to have a dental procedure done, aspirin can increase bleeding.
  • Use cotton swab to put oil of cloves on the aching tooth every 20 minutes.

It’s time to smile at Brown, Reynolds & Snow dental office in Richmond, VA.

Is Nail Biting a Dental Problem?

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Also called onychophagia, nail biting is a common habit for lots of people, usually children, teens, and young adults. Often, nail biting is caused by stress and seems to wane as people get older. Though some would argue that it’s not as bad as smoking or other less desirable habits, there are several reasons to stop nail biting:

It’s unsanitary. Did you know that your mouth and your hands/nails are two of the germiest areas on your body? If you have any open sores on your fingertips and you bite your nails, the germs from your mouth spread to that area. Pretty gross if you think about it.

It’s unattractive. Nobody really wants to watch someone bite their nails. As well, it doesn’t make your nails look very nice either.

It hurts your teeth. When you bite your nails, it strains front teeth and can weaken them, which may contribute to misalignment or crookedness. Nail biting also keeps your teeth in constant chewing motion and may wear them down faster than if you didn’t bite your nails.

It can cost you money. The Academy of General Dentistry estimates that nail biting may add $4000 to dental bills over a lifetime.

Stopping any habit can be difficult. To curtail your nail biting, try to:

  1. Think about it. Sometimes, just be conscious of this habit can help you stop.
  2. Make your nails look nice. You won’t want to mess them up if they are neatly manicured.
  3. Create a deterrent. Check at the drug store for colorless, odorless solutions you apply to the
    nails. These topicals taste awful, which should make it easier to quit.

We care about your oral health at Brown, Reynolds & Snow in Richmond, Virginia

How to Deal with Tetracycline-Stained Teeth

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Tetracycline is an antibiotic used to treat infection. While it works to fight certain illnesses, it can have a negative impact on your smile. If tetracycline is taken by pregnant women or by children while their teeth are still forming, the teeth will develop with dark stains. Usually, this medication produces brown or grayish discolorations that may cover all or part of the teeth.

People with tetracycline stains may feel self-conscious about their smiles. Your dentist can evaluate your case and discuss options for creating a gorgeous, new image. Treatments such as teeth whitening or porcelain veneers can remove stains and restore your smile.

In the past, teeth whitening was not a very effective therapy for tetracycline stains on teeth. Because the stains are intrinsic, which means they occur within the tooth, whitening didn’t always produce results. However, repeated chair side laser whitening sessions and deep bleaching products have worked in cases where the staining was not particularly dark.

The most common treatment with tetracycline stains is porcelain veneers. Made from thin shells of dental porcelain, veneers cover your teeth and produce a bright, white smile. Porcelain veneers are durable, stain-resistant, and designed to create naturally looking restorations.

With veneers, your doctor will first take impressions of your teeth to be sent to the dental lab that will handcraft your custom restorations. The dentist will then prepare the teeth for placement. Often, the dentist will place temporary veneers, which will give you a chance to preview your new look. Once the lab sends your permanent veneers to the office, you will need to return for minor adjustments and final placement.

Gorgeous, healthy smiles at Brown, Reynolds & Snow Dentistry in Richmond, Virginia

What is Oral Health?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The basic definition of oral health is the wellbeing of your teeth, gums, mouth, and supporting tissues. As well, the idea of oral health also has to do with having no pain or problems that interfere with your mouth or its functions. Without a toothache or bleeding gums, you may give your oral health little thought. Often, people take their oral health for granted, but it can actually impact your whole body.

Common Oral Health Problems:

Tooth Decay
Generally thought of a kid’s concern, cavities can strike at any age. Once you have tooth decay, it puts you at greater risk of developing more cavities in the future. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing often, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis will help reduce your risk for tooth decay and keep your oral health in top shape.

Gum Disease
Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease affects three out of four American adults. Because the early symptoms, swollen or bleeding gums, are mild, gum disease can go undetected. Without treatment, it can lead to gum recession, bone degeneration, and tooth loss. Studies have also linked periodontal disease to overall health issues such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

Lost Teeth
Approximately 69 percent of adults in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. When you lose teeth, the remaining teeth are in jeopardy of coming out if you don’t close the gap in your smile. Not only do missing teeth make you self-conscious about your appearance, but they can also cause oral health problems such as alignment issues and bone loss.

Oral Cancer
With a higher mortality rate than cervical, liver, or ovarian cancer, oral cancer strikes more than 30,000 Americans each year. If caught in the early stages, the survival rate increases significantly. During your routine exams, your dentist will look for signs of suspicious tissue or other indications of trouble.

It’s time to visit our dental team our Richmond, VA dental office – Brown, Reynolds & Snow.

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