Archive for February, 2013

Handling Common Dental Emergencies

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Most people visit their dentist for routine checkups twice a year. If all goes well, that’s usually all you need. Sometimes, emergency situations will arise. When the unexpected happens, these tips can help you handle the issue until you can see your dentist.

What to do for…

Excessive bleeding of the gums
Most of the time, gums bleed because of periodontal, or gum, disease. Frequent brushing and regular flossing will improve the health of your gums. Some patients require periodontal therapy, such as scaling and root planing, to address gum disease and restore their oral health.

A broken tooth
Carefully rinse the area, and gently apply pressure with gauze if you see any bleeding. Leave the fragment in place and bring any pieces with you to the dentist’s office.

Often, a toothache signals a problem within the tooth. Take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, but call your dentist to make an appointment as soon as possible.

Teething pain
When your baby’s teeth begin to erupt, some pain is normal. Try cold wash clothes or frozen teething rings to help soothe the discomfort. You shouldn’t need to contact a dentist or physician unless your child seems inconsolable.

Complications from wisdom teeth removal
Usually, patients experience mild soreness for the first few days after surgery. If you develop severe pain, contact your dentist immediately because this may indicate a dry socket, which occurs when the blood clot in the area becomes dislodged. A dry socket can slow down the healing process.

Emergency Dentist in Richmond VA

What You Should Know about Oral Cancer

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

When people hear the word cancer, they usually think about breast cancer, leukemia, or lung cancer, yet oral cancer kills one American every hour. Celebrity Michael Douglas has publicly shared his fight against this deadly disease. Nearly 36,000 people in this country receive an oral cancer diagnosis each year, yet only about half of them will make it to the five-year mark.

Oral cancer can impact the lip, tongue, cheeks, sinuses, pharynx, floor of the mouth, and soft or hard palates. Often, oral cancer starts with few signs or mild symptoms such as a sore throat, random pain, or a lesion that doesn’t heal. By the time it progresses and patients visit the doctor, the disease has likely progressed and a cure is more difficult. When detected early, oral cancer has a high survival rate.

A key factor in early detection is regular dental visits. During your checkup, the dentist will thoroughly examine your whole mouth. If the doctor finds any areas of concern, he or she can perform a brush test, where a sample of cells is collected and sent to a lab for analysis. Though oral cancer is found more often in men and in people over age 50, the number of younger individuals affected by oral cancer is on the rise.

It may not be possible to completely diminish your chances of developing oral cancer, but you can reduce your risks by making healthy choices, like:

•    Eating a good diet
•    Eliminating tobacco use
•    Limiting alcohol consumption
•    Protecting your lips with sunscreen
•    Reporting any unusual symptoms right away
•    Requesting regular screenings from your dentist

We care about your oral health at BRS Dentistry located in Richmond Virginia

Oral Care and Seniors

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

The aging process can take a toll on your whole body, including your mouth. Because you often notice signs of aging in other areas, you may neglect your teeth and gums, but oral health has a direct impact on your overall wellbeing. Currently, doctors may be able to identify up to 120 diseases just by looking inside a patient’s mouth, so it’s important to make your oral care a priority.

One of the big concerns in seniors is tooth loss. Ignoring tooth pain or other problems can result in the deterioration of your teeth. Many people don’t realize how much a missing tooth can affect their whole life. Lost teeth can result in bone degeneration, diet restrictions, and additional missing teeth.

Another problem that becomes more prevalent as you age is periodontal, or gum disease. Caused by the build of plaque and tartar under your gums, this condition can wreak havoc on your mouth. Left untreated, gum disease can contribute to gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. As well, periodontal disease has been linked to health concerns such as diabetes complications, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

To protect your oral health, follow these suggestions:

•    Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water
•    Practice a daily oral care routine that includes brushing and flossing
•    See your dentist for checkups at least every six months
•    Take good care of any dental prosthetics such as dentures or bridges
•    Watch for signs of trouble like sensitivity, mouth sores, trouble swallowing, and tooth pain

Dentist in Richmond VA for Seniors

How to Deal with Receding Gums

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

As we age, our waistlines often expand and our hairlines may retreat. Another common problem is receding gums. In fact, about 50 percent of the world’s population over age 40 has some level of gum recession. Although this condition is a normal part of aging, understanding receding gums and what you can to do to slow down the process can help keep your oral heath in good condition.

Receding gums occur when the gums begin to cover less of your teeth. Some people may notice a lengthened appearance in their teeth or extra spacing between teeth, while others have increased teeth sensitivity. Many times, you may have no obvious symptoms.

Several factors can contribute to receding gums including:

•    Brushing too hard. In this case, too much of a good thing can cause a problem. Make sure to use a soft-bristled brush and don’t brush for longer than two to three minutes.

•    Not brushing or flossing regularly. When you don’t brush and floss often enough, the bacteria in your mouth produce excess plaque, which can build up between teeth and create other oral health problems. Commit to making twice day brushing and regular flossing part of your routine.

•    Gum disease. Often, receding gums indicates the presence of a larger issue such as gum disease. Three out of four adult Americans have some level of gum disease. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to check your whole mouth and watch for signs of trouble. If gum disease is part of the problem, your dentist can create a detailed plan to correct the condition and restore your oral health.

•    Lifestyle choices. Chewing tobacco, mouth piercings, and even braces can irritate gums and contribute to gum recession. Additionally, medical problems such as eating disorders can also impact your gums. Talk with your dentist about any issues that could be a problem for you.

Dentist for receding gums in Richmond VA

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