Problems with your mouth or teeth can occur suddenly. You might be injured playing a sport, eating, or even just while doing a seemingly harmless activity. You should know what types of dental problems are considered emergencies, and what to do while waiting to see your dentist. Quick action can make a big difference in saving a tooth, or limiting damage to your mouth or face.
What is considered an emergency?
Not every dental problem must be treated as an emergency, but some do require professional treatment as soon as possible. This includes a broken or knocked out tooth, lost crowns and fillings, severe toothache, infection, and injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth.
What should I do?
See your dentist as soon as possible to treat the problem and prevent further damage. Here are some steps to take if you experience any of the following common dental emergencies:
- Severe toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove trapped food.
- Swelling – apply a cold compress on the outside of the swollen area. Do not place any painkiller or aspirin against your gums, because it can burn your gum tissue.
- Chipped or broken tooth – if possible, save the piece that has broken off. Rinse both the piece and your mouth with warm water. If it is bleeding, hold gauze on the area. Apply a cold compress to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- Lost filling – apply dental cement from your drugstore to fill the hollow area until you can see your dentist. Or, try placing a bit of sugarless gum into the area.
- Lost crown –try to replace the crown on your tooth and hold it in place temporarily with dental cement, denture adhesive, or toothpaste.
- Abscess – infections in your mouth can become abscessed, which is a serious condition. Rinse with warm salt water and see your dentist immediately.
- Soft tissue injuries – treat damage to your gums, cheeks, tongue and lips by rinsing with warm salty water. Hold gauze to the specific area to control bleeding, and hold a cold pack to the external area.
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Due to the increased interest in cosmetic dentistry, many family dentists are becoming trained to offer more extensive procedures and treatments geared to improve the appearance of your smile. Many of these treatments are quick and painless, and can offer almost instant results. Some of the cosmetic dentistry options offered by your family dentist may include:
- Professional teeth whitening to improve the color and brightness of dark, dingy, or discolored teeth
- Placement of dental veneers to improve the look of gapped, stained, or crooked teeth
- Replacement of old or unattractive metal fillings with more natural, tooth-colored materials
- Placement of crowns and bridges to repair and replace missing or severely damaged teeth
- Correction of small spaces or gaps between teeth by bonding with tooth-colored composite resin
- Insertion of dental implants to replace missing teeth
- Straightening of teeth and correction of bite problems with braces or Invisalign
Because your family dentist is already aware of your family’s dental history, it will be simple to recommend treatment plans. With this knowledge, your dentist can also quickly and expertly assess if you or other members of your family are suitable candidates for the procedures you are seeking. Your family dentist can perform all the same services as both a pediatric dentist and a general dentist, and will be able to address the cosmetic dental concerns of every member of your family. Family dentists can provide advice as to which procedures are age appropriate and give guidelines for when treatment is recommended.
If anyone in your family is not pleased with the appearance of their teeth, consult first with your family dentist to find out what cosmetic dental procedures and treatments are offered to improve the quality of their smile.
We treat patients from Lawrence MA and the surrounding area
Plaque is your mouth’s enemy. It is a film of bacteria that forms on your teeth, and produces acid as it mixes with sugar from foods and drinks you consume. Over time, these acids destroy your tooth enamel and lead to decay. Plaque can also form under your gums and affect both the gum tissue and the bones supporting your teeth.
So how can you avoid getting the plaque that causes these problems? Here are some helpful tips.
Use a fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush all of your tooth surfaces, as well as your tongue.
As much as many people don’t want to, flossing your teeth every day is important in getting rid of plaque between your teeth and at your gum line.
Eat healthy foods
Some foods help keep plaque off your teeth. Munch on apples, cucumbers, carrots, and other raw vegetables and fruits. Crunchy foods like these will help clean your teeth while filling you up and giving you helpful nutrients.
Avoid junk food
On the other hand, limit the amount of junk food that you eat. Sugary drinks and foods introduce sugar into your mouth that will stick to your teeth and lead to plaque formation.
See your dentist
Even if you practice good oral hygiene, some amount of plaque usually forms. It hardens to become tartar, which can only be properly removed by your dentist. Dental checkups every six months will help you keep plaque under control, and a healthy smile on your face.
If you live in the Lawrence MA area contact us today
With an estimated 49 million adults in the United States wearing dentures, there are lots of lessons learned about wearing them. Virtually everyone will say that it took a little adjustment time before they were comfortable and confident with their new teeth. It can help to know what to expect with wearing dentures at first.
Your dentures may feel very strange the first day you get them. They can seem too big for your mouth, and as though your lips are out of place. These strange sensations will disappear with time. You may also notice more saliva than usual in your mouth. This is a natural response of your mouth as it grows accustomed to the appliance.
A liquid diet is recommended by many dentists for the first couple of days after getting dentures. Then you may begin eating soft foods, like cooked vegetables, eggs, and fish. Take small bites and chew slowly. Avoid biting into foods with your front teeth.
Mouth soreness from your dentures should go away after a few days. If it lasts longer than a week, call your dentist to ask if you should be seen. You may experience minor mouth sores for the first couple of weeks that you wear dentures. This is normal as you give your mouth time to adjust. If the sores are severe, call your dentist.
Dentists recommend that you remove your dentures for a minimum of eight hours each day to give your gums a rest. Most patients do this at night while sleeping. Your dentist will provide instructions about how to care for your dentures and where to store them when not wearing them. Be sure to follow the instructions for care to ensure that your dentures last as long as possible.
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You may be diligent about keeping up with your yearly physical with your general physician, but you may not be as careful about seeing your family dentist as often as you should. People tend to neglect dental checkups, thinking that if their teeth aren’t hurting then there’s no reason to go to the dentist. This is untrue! Regular checkups and cleanings play an important role in your health and should not be overlooked.
The most obvious reason for every member of your family to go to your dentist is the potential medical benefits. Even if you perform proper oral hygiene routines at home, you can still develop medical problems that require intervention. Plaque and decay in hard-to-reach places may create cavities that need fillings. Gum disease can start off as minor gingivitis but worsen into advanced periodontal disease without treatment, and untreated gum disease might put you at higher risk for heart disease or diabetes. A tooth’s interior section called the pulp can become infected and die, eventually risking tooth loss. So skipping your regular dental examinations can have serious medical consequences.
In addition to protecting your health, family dentists keep your smile looking its best. Professional cleanings make your teeth brighter and healthier, and you’ll also likely end up with more self-confidence. At your dental visits, if you have concerns about the appearance of your smile, you can also get information and recommendations about cosmetic dental procedures that might improve your smile even more.
Another benefit of maintaining regular dental checkups is that it can cost you less money in the long run. If you think skipping a visit is financially smart, you’ll also be missing the opportunity to catch problems early and handle them before they reach the stage of expensive oral procedures.
It’s never the best idea to avoid dental care with your family dentist. Schedule and keep your appointments every six months for ideal oral health.
If you need a dentist in Lawrence MA contact us today
Maintaining a healthy, winning smile is easy with the help of general dentistry. People have all kinds of excuses for avoiding dental checkups. Don’t have the time? Advancements in procedures make treatment faster and more efficient, and extended hours allow patients to better fit appointments in their schedules. Too expensive? Many procedures are reasonably priced and most offices offer financial plans. Afraid of the dentist? General dentistry offers options for maintaining patient comfort and minimizing pain.
Once you realize there is no good excuse for skipping dental treatment, you should go for checkups twice a year for optimum care. Prevention is often the key to having the best oral health. Routine checkups identify early warning signs of issues like tooth decay or gum disease, so that problems can be corrected before becoming severe. Thorough examinations, diagnostic tests like X-rays, and regular professional cleanings are all steps to a healthy smile.
General dentists also teach proper hygiene methods so that you can keep your mouth in good shape between checkups. Routine dental care also may prevent harmful bacteria from entering your bloodstream and damaging other parts of your body.
If problems are diagnosed when you visit your dentist, various treatments can be performed to restore your oral health. General dentists treat all kinds of issues and typically offer dental fillings, root canal therapy, extractions, bonding, crowns, dentures and more. If there are procedures that you need that your general dentist doesn’t perform or would prefer you visit a specialist for advanced treatment, you’ll be referred to a qualified and experienced doctor.
General dentistry can make the difference between a dull, damaged, unhealthy smile and one that will look nice and function well for the rest of your life. Don’t hesitate in visiting your dentist regularly for optimum oral health.
We look forward to seeing you in our Lawrence MA dental office