Burns in the Mouth

March 29, 2010
Q: What’s the first aid for a burned roof of the mouth?
 
A: We’ve all bitten into a sizzling piece of pizza and had hot mozzarella scorch the roof of the mouth right behind the front teeth.  Or maybe it happened with a bowl of piping hot soup or a cup of coffee.  The result is the annoying and moderately painful burn on the roof of the mouth.  The first piece of advice, of course, is to not be so hasty with hot food or beverages.  Be a little more patient and let them cool.
 
But if the damage has been done, the first thing to do is get some cold liquid in your mouth to bathe the area.  This will help reduce the pain, minimizing any swelling and tissue damage and help numb the area.  If the burn is really uncomfortable, you might go to your neighborhood pharmacy and get some Orabase, an oral bandage.  The next day, start rinsing the inside of your mouth with a half teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water.  Rinse four or five times daily for a few days and the area should heal nicely.  Talk with the Drs. at Chips Dental Associates about how to treat burns inside the mouth and about other procedures for dealing with the unexpected oral calamity that can arise. 
 
Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC.
 
For more information or questions, visit www.chipsdentalLLC.com
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Effects of A Lost Tooth

March 22, 2010
Q: What happens if I lose a tooth?

A: In the normal healthy mouth, teeth support one another. The loss of a tooth can come from sudden trauma, or from neglect, letting a tooth decay to the point of crumbling or ignoring gum disease that can eventually destroy a tooth’s support system. If you lose a permanent tooth, you should contact Chips Dental Associates as soon as possible. Once one tooth is gone, the teeth adjacent to it will begin to shift and loosen. The end result, over time, is a domino effect of lost teeth. Not only will missing teeth put a serious dent in your smile, they may hamper your ability to speak and chew.

Depending on the circumstances, the Doctors at Chips Dental Associates may be able to correct your situation with a crown if part of the tooth is left, or a bridge. A bridge is an appliance that would be anchored on the neighboring teeth and would fill the spot where the tooth has been lost. Another option is an implant, which involves the installation of a metal post in your jaw that would anchor an artificial tooth. There must be sufficient jawbone for the procedure to be feasible, but an evaluation by the Drs. Chips would help determine whether you are a candidate. If you visit Chips Dental Associates at least twice a year for routine examinations and cleanings, tooth loss will most likely not be a problem.

Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC.

For more information or questions, visit http://www.chipsdentalllc.com/

Inlays

March 15, 2010
Q: What is an inlay?
 
A: An inlay is a filling for a tooth that is made outside the mouth and then cemented into place.  In some situations this is preferable to a directly placed filling because it offers added strength and durability.  Perhaps the best known of the inlays is a cast-gold inlay that has a time honored role in tooth restoration. Inlays can also be made from porcelain, which will be more natural looking than a gold inlay. 
 
Gold makes for a very strong inlay, sometimes lasting as long as 50+ years, however it is also necessary to make sure that you visit Chips Dental Associates regularly to maintain your inlay.  Porcelain inlays are made through a similar process to gold inlays, however they are made with ceramic material.  Both Gold and Porcelain inlays are made in a laboratory from a custom mold that was provided from the Drs. Chips.  These are fabricated in the laboratory to a high degree of accuracy so that the restoration will be free of leaks and has the best chance possible of lasting you a long time.  The indirect process makes it possible to make a more durable restoration and with modern dental materials and laboratory techniques the fit and retention will be superior to simple fillings. 
 
Inlays are stronger and tend to last longer than a simple filling, however they will be a more expensive option to restore your teeth.  Regardless of your choice, without regular dental care and exams, no restoration can be expected to last long.  If you have a tooth that is in need of restoration, speak with the Drs. Chips at your next dental visit about which option is best for you.
 
Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC.
 
For more information or questions, please visit www.chipsdentalLLC.com

Good Practices for Adolescents

March 8, 2010
Q: Do adolescents have special concerns for oral health?

A: No one has to tell the parent of an adolescent that this stage of life has its challenges. Hormones are raging and the body is changing. That’s why good nutrition and oral hygiene are especially important during the teen years. Cavities and gum disease are not limited to adults. Surveys have shown that bleeding gums are most prevalent among adolescents and that 75% of 13- to 17-year-olds have had gums that bled.

Between school and activities, adolescents lead busy lives. Their tendency to snack can lead them away from a good diet and regular meals. If they are wearing braces, remind them to keep the spaces between the teeth and wires clean by using floss threaders. There are also special orthodontic toothbrushes available on the market that make cleaning braces and teeth easier. If your teen is active in sports, you should speak with the Drs. Chips about what sort of mouth guard is appropriate.

A “boil-and-bite” type mouth guard, such as those typically found in the sporting goods store, is the starting point for protection of your adolescent’s dentition. The custom made mouthguards available through Chips Dental Associates offer superior protection and can reportedly in some cases enhance athletic performance. A mouth guard helps not only to protect teeth, but also helps to guard against concussion. It is important to realize that participating in any athletic activity without a mouth guard makes you 60 times more likely to have dental trauma. The highest level of protection will come from a custom-made mouth guard that can be obtained at Chips Dental Associates.

For more information or questions please visit http://www.chipsdentalllc.com/

Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC

You and Your Toothbrush

March 1, 2010

Q: Is there anything special I should know about toothbrushes?

A: Your toothbrush is your first line of defense in your effort to keep your mouth clean and healthy. It’s one of the first things you reach for in the morning and one of the last things you use at night. Combined with faithful flossing, brushing your teeth regularly will keep your smile bright and sturdy.

Here are some facts to keep in mind: The American Dental Association recommends that you get a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. If the bristles get frayed, though, you should replace the brush right away. Frayed bristles can injure gums and don’t clean as effectively. A plethora of toothbrushes are on the market, both powered and manual. Some offer a particular benefit if you have an issue with your manual dexterity. There is very little difference in the results from a powered or manual toothbrush as long as the brushing process is thorough. Studies show that in addition to making sure that you brush all surfaces of your teeth, it should take two minutes to completely debride all of these surfaces. Set yourself a timer to help make sure you are doing this correctly.

Whichever your choice, look for the ADA seal of acceptance on the package. The seal means the organization has established the product’s claims to safety and effectiveness. Ask Dr. Chips or our dental hygienist about the type of toothbrush that is right for you and get some tips on technique.

Presented as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC.

For more information or questions visit http://www.chipsdentalLLC.com

Foods Good for Oral Health

February 22, 2010
Q: How much does diet affect dental health?
A: Your decisions about what you eat affect not only your dental health, but your overall health as well. So here are some things to consider when planning your meals. There are lots of products on the market designed to whiten teeth. In addition, there are some foods that will do it naturally. Apples, oranges, carrots, celery and high-fiber greens like broccoli, lettuce, and spinache contribute to teeth whiteness. That’s because they require lots of chewing, which stimulates saliva production and inhibits stain-producing bacteria.
Fruits, vegetables, legumes – peas and beans – and nuts are good for general health and therefore good for your mouth. Milk and cheese are good sources of calcium, which helps keep bones strong and healthy. Studies have found that eating fresh cranberries interrupts the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form plaque. If you crave sugary or high carbohydrate food, it’s better to eat them as part of a meal rather than alone. The saliva you produce while consuming a meal will help neutralize the acids those foods will generate before they can damage enamel. Talk with the Drs. Chips about good dietary choices.
Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC.
For more information or questions visit http://www.chipsdentalLLC.com

Denture Replacement

February 15, 2010

Q: How often do dentures need to be replaced?

A: When properly cared for, dentures will last a long time. Even with good care, however, they will need professional care and possibly replacement over time. Your mouth naturally changes with age. The ridge of your gums can atrophy or shrink, as can the jaw bones. As these changes occur, dentures can become loose fitting. Loose dentures can lead to sores and infection. They can also make chewing difficult and change your facial features.

The Drs. Chips can explain to you the difference between relining, remaking, and rebasing your dentures as needed. To make a rebased denture, the Drs. Chips will use the teeth from your existing denture and make a new base. Naturally if you break or otherwise damage a denture, it may need to be replaced. Though they are sturdy enough in your mouth, the danger with dentures is handling them outside the mouth. When you are removing your dentures, you should lean over a folded towel. A drop of even a few inches onto a hard surface could damage a denture. Regular visits to Chips Dental Associates are important for denture wearers. You want to make sure that your dentures are in good condition, your mouth is in good condition and have oral cancer screenings done at regular intervals.

Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC.

For more information or questions please visit www.chipsdentalLLC.com

Start Dental Care in Infancy

February 9, 2010

Q: When should a child first see a dentist?

A: The American Dental Association recommends that a child see a dentist within six months after the eruption of the first tooth. Bear in mind that the first teeth to erupt, primary or “baby” teeth, are as important as the permanent teeth that follow. Generally primary teeth start showing up between the ages of six months and a year. Not only do the teeth help a child chew and speak, they are placeholders for the permanent teeth that are developing under them. 

Baby teeth can develop cavities, just as permanent teeth can. Once an infant’s diet contains anything other than breast milk, the new teeth are at risk for decay, sometimes called early-childhood caries or baby-bottle tooth decay. A visit to Chips Dental Associates with a toddler is also an opportunity for a parent to get a demonstration from the Drs. Chips on how to care for your child’s mouth and how to show the child what to do. The Drs. Chips can also assess whether a thumb-sucking habit is having a harmful impact on a child’s teeth. Also the sooner your child starts becoming comfortable in the dental office environment, the easier it will be for him or her as they age. Talk with the Drs. Chips about your child’s dental health.

Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates.

For more information or questions, visit http://www.chipsdentalLLC.com

Danger of Sports Drinks

February 1, 2010
Q: Are these so-called sports drinks okay for kids’ teeth?
 
A: Sports drinks, some researchers say, serve a beneficial role in some circumstances.  Consumed during or after an intense workout of an hour or more, a child may take in more fluid with a sports drink than if offered water alone.  But the fact is that most sports drinks are essentially sugar water with electrolytes added.  Kids don’t really need supplemental electrolytes, they get plenty in food.  Sugary sports drinks are very tough on teeth as well.
 
It will vary by brand, but generally one 20-ounce bottle of a sports drink contains about 10- teaspoons of sugar and 130 calories.  Research has shown that when sipped over a long period of time, sports drinks can do more damage to enamel than a carbonated cola product.  Any sugary drink will have a corrosive effect on enamel, especially if it is sipped through the course of a day.  The American Dental Association continues to recommend that we drink 8 to 12 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.  If the water is fluoridated, it also helps to prevent tooth decay.  Ask Drs. Chips for tips on diet – drinks and solid food – that are most conducive to oral and general health. 
 
For more information or questions visit www.chipsdentalLLC.com.
 
Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates.

Early Signs of Periodontal Disease

January 25, 2010
Q: How can I tell if I’m getting gum disease?

A: By the time you suspect you may have gum disease, also called periodontal disease, the condition may be well advanced. The only way you would know in the early stage of the disease is if you visit Chips Dental Associates and our hygienist or the Drs. let you know. At the outset, there is normally no pain or other symptoms. Only a dental exam can determine if the disease is present. As it advances, gum disease can make the gum tissue separate from the teeth. This creates pockets in which bacteria can settle. Once entrenched, the disease attacks the tissue and bone that support the teeth. Advanced cases of periodontal disease can severely loosen teeth.

The good news is that periodontal disease is eminently preventable. Regular brushing, flossing and visits to Chips Dental Associates can greatly reduce your chances of developing periodontal disease. Women, incidentally because of the various changing phases of life, are at greater risk for gum disease. From the onset of menstruation through the teenage years, pregnancy and menopause, a woman’s hormonal changes affect her oral health. The reason is that hormones impact the bacteria that grow on the teeth and in the mouth. Come in and speak with the Drs. Chips about the best practices to avoid gum disease.

For questions, more information, or appointments visit http://www.chipsdentalllc.com/

Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC.