Posts for: April, 2020
Oral health is a term used for referring to the health of your gums, teeth, and your entire oral-facial system, which enables you to eat, speak and smile. Among the most common problems that negatively affect your oral health are gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. Fortunately, you can maintain your oral health and keep these diseases at bay with regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist, Dr. Domenic Riccobono of Countryside Dental here in Chatham, NY, and these oral hygiene habits:
- Practice proper oral care habits. Brush your teeth two times daily and floss them to further get rid of food particles and plaque. Use an antibacterial mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste, and drink fluoridated water.
- Limit your intake of alcoholic drinks and refrain from using tobacco products.
- Consult your dentist once you experience sudden changes in smell and taste.
- If any of your medicines cause dry mouth, ask your physician for an alternative. Otherwise, make sure to drink lots of water and chew sugar-free gum to avoid dry mouth.
- If you’re a diabetic, work with your physician to manage your condition. This will help lower your risk of developing dental complications such as gum disease. Visit your dentist if your gums bleed when your floss or brush your teeth.
- Check-in with your dentist in Chatham, NY, at least twice annually. Inform your dentist about any medicines you’re taking and any health problems you may be experiencing during your checkups.
Cleaning Your Teeth and Gums The Proper Way
Brush along the gum line and your pearly whites, both thoroughly and gently, on all sides using a soft-bristled toothbrush and some fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to use short strokes and tiny circular motions and replace your toothbrush at least every three or four months.
Don’t forget to clean your tongue with the brush or a tongue scraper. Likewise, use dental floss to clean between the teeth and get rid of leftover food and plaque that can’t be removed by toothbrushing. Opt for a water flosser, pre-threaded flosser, or something similar if you have a hard time using standard floss.
Our Current Availability
Countryside Dental will be closed due to the new guidelines from the American Dental Association and New York State Dental Society unless it is a true emergency. We are scheduled to open on April 30 pending no further changes in the Federal and State Government.
If you have an emergency, you can contact Dr. Riccobono at 518-392-5231.
People with poor hygiene habits can develop a chronic form of periodontal (gum) disease known as gingivitis. Characterized by inflamed and bleeding gums, gingivitis is caused by an infection triggered by bacterial plaque, a thin film of food remnant built up on tooth surfaces.
This chronic form of gingivitis, though, can quickly escalate into more serious forms of gum disease that may lead to tooth and bone loss. One such condition is Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG), also known as “trench mouth.” ANUG is a painful condition that can appear suddenly and result in extensive tissue damage and ulcerations, particularly in the papillae, the small, triangular bits of tissue between teeth. Persons with ANUG may also develop a foul breath and taste.
Gingivitis often develops into ANUG when certain mouth conditions exist: poor diet, smoking, which can dry the mouth and disrupt healthy bacterial flora, and increased stress or anxiety. If caught early, though, ANUG is highly treatable and reversible.
After determining you have ANUG and not another condition, our first step is to relieve the symptoms with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen to manage pain and reduce swelling. We also prescribe a regimen of antibiotics like Amoxicillin (a proven antibiotic against the specific bacteria that cause ANUG). This should decrease the symptoms within 24 to 48 hours.
As the inflammation subsides we want to continue treatment by removing any plaque or calculus (hardened plaque deposits), especially in hard to reach places. This involves a technique known as scaling in which we used specialized hand tools or ultrasonic equipment to manually remove and flush away plaque and calculus.
The final step depends on you. To prevent reoccurrence, it’s important for you to consistently practice effective oral hygiene to remove plaque — brushing twice and flossing once each day, and visiting us at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups. Quitting tobacco and improving your diet will also reduce your risk for ANUG.
ANUG and any other form of gum disease can cause a lot of damage. But taking steps to care for your teeth will help keep this acute form of gingivitis from arising in the first place.
If you would like more information on gingivitis and other forms of gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Painful Gums in Teens & Adults.”
Singer and actor Demi Lovato has a new claim to fame: formidable martial artist. When she is not in the recording studio, on stage or in front of the camera, Lovato can often be found keeping in shape at Jay Glazer's Hollywood (California) gym. Glazer, who is best known as a sports journalist, also runs conditioning programs for professional athletes and celebrities based on mixed martial arts. On March 6, Glazer got more than he bargained for when 5'3" Lovato stepped into the ring and knocked out his front tooth.
Glazer reportedly used super glue to put his tooth back together. Not a good idea! While it may not be convenient to drop everything and get to the dental office, it takes an expert to safely treat a damaged tooth. If you glue a broken tooth, you risk having to undergo major work to correct your temporary fix—it's no easy task to "unglue" a tooth, and the chemicals in the glue may damage living tooth tissue as well as the surrounding gum and bone.
Would you know what to do in a dental emergency? Here are some guidelines:
- If you chip a tooth, save the missing piece if possible. We may be able to reattach it.
- If your tooth is cracked, rinse your mouth with warm water, but don't wiggle the tooth around or bite down on it. If it's bleeding, hold clean gauze to the area and call our office.
- If your tooth is knocked loose or is pushed deeper into the socket, don't force the tooth back into position on your own. Immediate attention is very important.
- If your tooth is knocked out, there's a chance it can be reattached. Pick up the tooth while being careful not to touch the root. Then rinse it off and have either someone place into its socket, or place it against the inside of your cheek or in a glass of milk. Please call the office immediately or go to a hospital.
What's the best thing to do in an emergency? Call us right away, and DON'T super glue your tooth! You can prevent worse problems by letting a professional handle any dental issues. And if you've been living with a chipped, broken or missing tooth, call us to schedule an appointment for a consultation—there are several perfectly safe ways to restore your smile. Meanwhile, if you practice martial arts to keep in shape, think twice before getting into the ring with Demi Lovato!