News

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

  • 1after-mini

Discoloration

  • ToothWhitening-FeaturedImage

What Is It?
Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes inside the tooth. There are three main types of tooth discoloration:

    • Extrinsic — This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained. Coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods can stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.

 

    • Intrinsic — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint. You can get this type of discoloration if:
      • You had too much exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
      • Your mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
      • You used tetracycline antibiotics when you were 8 years old or younger.
      • You had trauma that affected a tooth when you were a young child. A fall, for example, may damage the developing permanent tooth.
      • You had trauma in a permanent tooth, and internal bleeding discolored the tooth.
      • You were born with a rare condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta. This causes gray, amber or purple discolorations.

 

  • Age-related — This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Foods and smoking also can stain teeth as people get older. Finally, chips or other injuries can discolor a tooth, especially when the pulp has been damaged.

Symptoms
Symptoms include stains on the enamel. They can range from white streaks to yellow tints or brown spots and pits. If the enamel has worn away, and dentin is showing through, you may notice a yellow tint.

Diagnosis
No special tests are needed. A dentist or other dental professional can diagnose tooth discoloration by looking at the teeth.

Expected Duration
Some tooth discoloration can be removed with professional cleaning. An example would be the stains caused by coffee. Many stains are permanent, however. Teeth sometimes can be whitened with a bleaching gel. In some cases, if the discoloration is severe, a crown or veneer may be required to cover it.

Prevention
Brushing your teeth after every meal will help to prevent some stains. Dentists recommend that you rinse your mouth with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks or foods that can stain your teeth. Regular cleanings by a dental hygienist also will help to remove surface stains.

Intrinsic stains that are caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in a tooth sometimes can be prevented. You may need to have root canal treatment to remove the inner part of the tooth (the pulp) before it has a chance to decay and darken. However, teeth that have root canal treatment may darken anyway.

To prevent intrinsic stains in children, avoid too much early exposure to fluorides. Once the enamel is formed, fluoride will not discolor teeth.

Treatment
Many extrinsic stains caused by food and drink can be removed by regular professional cleanings and home care. Good home care includes brushing, flossing and rinsing after meals.

Discoloration often can be removed by applying a bleaching agent to the tooth enamel. One technique is called “power bleaching.” With this method, the dentist applies a light-activated bleaching gel. It causes the teeth to get significantly whiter in about 30 to 45 minutes. Several follow-up treatments may be needed, or take-home bleaching trays may be provided.

It’s also possible to remove discoloration at home. You will use a bleaching gel and a mouth guard given to you by your dentist. The bleaching gels designed for use at home aren’t as strong as those applied by your dentist. This means that the process takes longer — usually two to four weeks.

You also can buy whitening products over the counter. They contain a weaker bleach than the products you can get from your dentist. The whitening agent is applied as a gel placed in a mouthpiece or as a strip that sticks to your teeth. Over-the-counter mouthpieces fit less securely than the kind you get from your dentist, but they will lighten your teeth over time.

Whitening toothpastes may remove minor stains. They do not actually change the overall color of your teeth.

If your tooth has darkened after a root canal, bleaching the enamel won’t help. Your dentist can apply a bleaching material to the inside of the tooth, or you may consider a crown or veneer.

Bleaching will not lighten some stains, such as tetracycline stains. In this case, your dentist may recommend covering the discolored areas. This also may be useful when the tooth is chipped or badly damaged.

A tooth can be covered with a color-matched composite bonding material. Another option is to get veneers. These are thin ceramic shells that cover the outer surfaces of the teeth.

When To Call a Professional
Tooth discoloration is mainly a cosmetic problem. Visit a dentist if you’re unhappy with how your teeth look. Any change in a child’s normal tooth color should be evaluated by a dentist.

Prognosis
The prognosis is very good for extrinsic stains. Intrinsic stains may be more difficult or take longer to remove.

Tooth Fracture

  • Teeth-Whitening-Irvine

Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack (fracture) or break. This can happen in several ways:

  • Biting down on something hard
  • Being hit in the face or mouth
  • Falling
  • Having cavities that weaken the tooth
  • Having large, old amalgam fillings that don’t support the remaining enamel of the tooth

When a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. However, your tongue usually feels the sharp area quite quickly. Minor tooth fractures usually don’t cause pain, but if a large piece of the tooth breaks off, it can hurt. The nerve inside the tooth may be damaged. Extreme discomfort also can happen when nerve endings in the dentin are exposed to air, or to hot or cold foods or drinks.

Pain from a broken or cracked tooth may be constant or may come and go. Many people feel pain when they chew because chewing puts pressure on the tooth.

What You Can Do

Cracked (Fractured) Teeth
There is no way to treat a cracked tooth at home. You need to see your dentist. Sometimes the tooth looks fine, but it hurts only when you eat or when the temperature in your mouth changes (because you drank something hot or cold, for example). If your tooth hurts all the time, it may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. This is a serious warning sign. You will know if you have a cracked tooth if it does not hurt to bite on the tooth, but pain occurs when you release the bite.

Broken Teeth
If you have a broken tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can figure out if the break was caused by a cavity, and if the tooth’s nerve is in danger. A damaged nerve usually will require root canal treatment.

Until you get to the dentist’s office:

  • Rinse your mouth well with warm water.
  • Apply pressure with a piece of gauze on any bleeding areas for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. If this doesn’t work, use a tea bag with pressure on the area to stop the bleeding.
  • Apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth. This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • If you can’t get to your dentist right away, cover the part of the tooth that is in your mouth with temporary dental cement. You can find this at a drugstore.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

What Your Dentist Will Do

There are several types of tooth fractures and breaks, each of which requires different treatments. These include:

  • Minor cracks —Also called “craze lines,” these are surface cracks that affect only the outer white surface of the tooth, called the enamel. Minor cracks rarely need treatment. However, your dentist may lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough spots.
  • Cracked tooth — This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing surface all the way down to the nerve. The pieces remain in place, but the crack gradually spreads. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with filling material. The tooth often will need a crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. If the pulp (nerve and other live tissues) is damaged, you may need a root canal as well.
  • Chips — Minor chips don’t always need treatment. Your dentist may suggest repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from getting worse or to make the tooth look and feel better. If the chip is very small, the dentist may polish and smooth out the chipped area.
  • Broken cusp — These breaks affect the pointed chewing surfaces (the cusps) of the teeth. They usually do not affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause much pain. Your dentist may repair the damage to restore the tooth’s shape. Frequently, however, an onlay or crown will be required.
  • Serious breaks — These breaks go deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always cause the tooth to hurt and be sensitive. Usually, the broken part of the tooth will bleed. You will need root canal treatment to remove the exposed nerve and probably a crown to restore the tooth to normal function so you can eat and chew properly.
  • Split tooth — This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. Some teeth, such as your back teeth (molars), have more than one root. It may be possible to keep one of the roots, which will then be covered with a crown. First, you will need root canal treatment. Second, the dentist will remove any roots that cannot be kept. Third, you will need a crown to cover the root and replace the tooth. In some cases, when a root cannot be saved, the tooth will have to be removed.
  • Vertical breaks or split root —These cracks start in the root of the tooth and extend upward toward the chewing surface. These breaks are often painful because the area around the root may be inflamed or infected. In most cases, the tooth will have to be removed.
  • Decay-induced break — In this case, the tooth has broken or crumbled because a cavity weakened it from the inside out. Your dentist will evaluate the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. In some cases, if the decay is extensive and goes down to the bone,the tooth may have to be removed.

Hot and Cold Sensitivity

  • cold-sensitivity

What is the condition of "sensitive teeth"?

When the tooth’s hard enamel wears down or gums recede, tiny microscopic tubes located in the layer of tooth below the enamel are exposed. Tooth sensitivity is caused by the stimulation of cells within these tubes, causing a short, sharp pain when the area is exposed to hot or cold temperatures through food and beverages — or even by the air.

Another cause of tooth sensitivity is cracks in the tooth’s enamel surface. Extreme temperature changes cause teeth to expand and contract. Over time, microscopic cracks may develop, allowing hot or cold sensations to seep through to the nerves beneath the tooth enamel.

What you can do

Change your brand of toothpaste

Some toothpastes increase tooth sensitivity, including whitening toothpastes that lighten or remove stains from enamel, and tartar-control toothpastes containing sodium pyrophosphate. There are toothpastes specially made for people with sensitive teeth. Be aware that these products typically must be used on a regular basis for at least a month before you notice any therapeutic benefits. (You may see benefits more quickly if you massage the special toothpaste onto your gums with your finger after brushing your teeth with it.)

Take it easy on your teeth

Avoid using hard-bristled toothbrushes and brushing your teeth too vigorously, which can wear down the tooth’s root surface and expose sensitive spots. Take a good look at your toothbrush. If the bristles are flattened or pointing in multiple directions, you’re putting too much pressure on your teeth.

Skip the marinara sauce

Some foods or drinks can aggravate sensitive teeth. Avoid or limit acidic items (for example, food or drink with a high concentration of tomatoes, oranges or lemons) and sodas.

When to see a dentist

If a tooth is highly sensitive for more than three or four days and reacts to both hot and cold temperatures, it’s best to get an evaluation from your dentist to determine the extent of the problem. Because pain symptoms can be similar, some people might think that a tooth is sensitive when they actually have a cavity or abscess that’s not yet visible. Be sure to tell the dentist when the pain started and if there is anything (such as the application of a warm compress) that reduces or eliminates the pain.

If you are diagnosed with sensitive teeth, your dentist can prescribe one of a variety of treatment options, including both in-office treatments (applying a desensitizing agent or a protective coating to the teeth) and take-home products for personal use. If your tooth sensitivity is severe and persistent or it cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend root canal treatment.

Wisdom Teeth

  • 29-150Z21H450F8

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the final teeth to develop in the mouth, usually in our late teens or early twenties. The 4 wisdom teeth can be  found in each back corner of the mouth. Not all people have wisdom teeth. If wisdom teeth fit with other teeth, they can stay and act like other molars for chewing food.

Often times, wisdom teeth become trapped in the jawbone and don’t break through the gum tissue. Sometimes wisdom teeth are crooked and cause cavities or gum disease. If wisdom teeth are crooked, blocked by other teeth or have a flap of gum tissue on top, plaque and food can enter around the tooth and cause cavities, gum disease or infection.

X-rays are taken to see if you have wisdom teeth and how they are placed in your jawbone.

In many cases, it is a good idea that trapped wisdom teeth be pulled. Depending on the location of the tooth, taking out the wisdom tooth can be done in our office.


Quick Facts about wisdom tooth removal: 

  • Use ice packs on the cheek for swelling, putting the pack on for 30 minutes and leaving it off for 30 minutes
  • Bite on clean gauze to stop bleeding
  • Eat soft foods and drink extra liquids
  • Don’t chew hard or crunchy foods in tender areas
  • Brush carefully the day after surgery
  • Follow the instructions for taking any drugs your dentist recommends
  • Don’t use drinking straws to keep the blood clot in the tooth socket
  • Your dentist may tell you to use a mouthwash 

 

Call your dentist or doctor right away if you have a lot of bleeding, swelling, severe pain, or fever.

It will take several weeks to months for the mouth to heal completely after the wisdom teeth have been removed

Be sure to follow the special home care instructions provided by your dental professional.