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By Stiles Family Dentistry
February 21, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: root canal  

An infection in the root and pulp of your tooth could result in pain and discomfort, or worse, tooth loss. When this occurs, a root canal is often required to remove the decay. However, how do you know if you really need to undergo this procedure? Here at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH, our team of dentists can determine if you require a root canal during a simple examination. Below are some warning signs which indicate that you might want to visit our office:

Sensitivity to Cold and Heat

This could feel like a sharp ache or dull pain, and although different things can cause these sensations, if you feel your tooth hurting whenever you consume something cold, hot, or sugary, it may mean that the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are already damaged or severely infected.

Persistent Pain

This is one of the most common signs that may indicate you require a root canal. You may feel this pain deep in your tooth and/or your other teeth, jaw, and face at all times, or in a recurring fashion.

Swollen and Irritated Gums

Swollen gums surrounding your painful tooth could indicate an infection that only a root canal could fix. Depending on the severity of the infection, the swelling might be continuous or come and go, and it might be tender to the touch as well. It’s also possible that you’ll see a tiny pimple or bump on the affected site—this is known as an abscess, or gum boil, and it may leak pus due to the infection.

A Discolored Tooth

In some cases, a pulp infection could result in the affected tooth turning gray or black. While this could be caused by other things, if you’re also experiencing other tooth decay symptoms, see your dentist in Salem, NH, as soon as possible for a checkup.

Pain When Eating or Touching the Tooth

You may need a root canal treatment when your tooth feels painful when you’re eating and when you’re touching it. This is particularly true if the sensitivity and pain remain over time and does not subside even when you’re not eating.

A Loose Tooth

Your tooth may feel loose if it’s infected. In the event that you have multiple loose teeth, you should see your dentist right away to determine the exact cause.

Need a Root Canal?

If you’re experiencing any or all of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s extremely vital that you visit your dentist as early as possible to increase the chances that you save your tooth. Call Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH, at (603) 893-4538 to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.

ExtractingaToothisaRoutineProcedure

Dentists around the world routinely remove diseased or damaged teeth every day. While some extractions require surgery, many don't: Your family dentist can perform these simple extractions, usually with little complication.

The term simple doesn't necessarily mean easy—as we'll note in a moment, it takes a deft and experienced hand to perform this type of extraction. The term in this case refers more to the type and condition of the tooth: The tooth roots are relatively straight and reside in the bone at an accessible angle. There are otherwise no meaningful impediments to removing it straight out.

The idea of “pulling a tooth” out of the jaw isn't the most accurate way to describe the procedure. A tooth is actually held in place within its bony socket by the periodontal ligament, a tough, elastic tissue between the tooth root and the bone that attaches to both through tiny fibrous extensions. The best method is to first loosen the tooth from the ligament's tiny attachments, for which experienced dentists can develop a certain feel. Once released from the ligament, the tooth will usually come free easily from its socket.

Not all teeth, though, can be removed in this manner. Teeth with multiple roots like back molars, and without a straight trajectory out of the socket, can have a complicated removal. Other dental conditions could also prove problematic for simple extraction, such as brittle roots that might fragment during removal.

For these and other complications, your general dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for the tooth extraction. But even with the surgical component, these more complicated extractions are relatively minor and routine—millions of wisdom teeth, for example, are removed every year in this manner.

If you have a tooth that needs to be removed due to disease or injury, your dentist will first determine the best way to remove it and will refer you, if necessary, for surgical extraction. And whatever kind of extraction you undergo, the dentist performing it will make sure you remain pain-free during the procedure.

While tooth preservation is usually the best course for long-term dental health, it's sometimes best to remove a tooth. If that should happen, your dentist will make sure it's done with as little discomfort to you as possible.

If you would like more information on dental extraction methods, 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 “Simple Tooth Extraction?

Properly aligned teeth could prevent wearing, enamel erosion, chipping, and damage to your teeth roots. It could likewise improve your gum’s health and overall oral hygiene as well as boost confidence in your appearance and smile. Further, aligning your crooked teeth will also create a more harmonious relationship between your facial muscles, jaw, and teeth for a more comfortable, functional, and healthier bite.

If you suffer from minor bite issues such as an underbite, crossbite, or overbite, or concerned about gapped teeth, you may be eligible for Invisalign aligners. Invisalign can fix these minor problems with minimal interruption or impact on your daily life, without anyone even noticing that you’re wearing them. For more minor issues, you can also opt for dental veneers. These can conceal gapped teeth, minor bit problems, and chips.

To determine which of these dentistry solutions are best for straightening your teeth, you can visit us at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH, and consult with one of our dentists.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a discreet orthodontic treatment specifically developed to help people fix bite problems and straighten their teeth much faster than traditional braces can. Unlike braces that use metal wires and brackets, Invisalign functions by utilizing a series of sturdy and clear thermoplastic aligners that are customized to put gentle pressure on specific teeth at predetermined times throughout the entire treatment time. This will result in gradual straightening of your bite with increased convenience and comfort.

What are Dental Veneers?

Sometimes called instant orthodontics, dental veneers are also a viable solution to get a straighter smile. Dental veneers are typically made of porcelain and can give you a straight smile by matching the color and shape of your real teeth and concealing various minor cosmetic flaws such as:

  • Minor alignment issues
  • Gapped teeth
  • Chips, breaks, and cracks
  • Disproportionate and worn teeth
  • Discolorations and stains that teeth whitening can’t fix

However, since dental veneers are technically not a real orthodontic treatment because they can only hide cosmetic imperfections and not really correct them, you will still have bite issues, but they’ll be concealed behind the veneers. With this in mind, you should discuss your treatment goals with your dentist in Salem, NH, to figure out whether Invisalign or veneers will best address your concerns.

Want to straighten your smile Invisalign or Veneers?

Arrange a consultation with one of our dentists Drs. Papapetros, Giraldo, Masterson, and Lam here at Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH, by dialing (603) 893-4538 today.

These4HabitsCouldHelpYouAvoidGumDisease

Here’s the bad news about periodontal (gum) disease: It’s a leading cause for tooth loss. Even worse: Half of adults over 30 will have some form of it during their lifetime.

But here’s the good news: If caught early, we can often treat and stop gum disease before it can do substantial harm to your mouth. And the best news of all—you may be able to avoid a gum infection altogether by adopting a few healthy habits.

Here are 4 habits you can practice to prevent a gum infection from happening.

Practice daily brushing and flossing. Gum disease is a bacterial infection most often arising from dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that accumulates on teeth. Removing plaque daily with brushing and flossing will reduce your chances of a gum infection. And be sure it’s daily—missing just a few days is enough for gum inflammation to get started.

Get regular dental cleanings and checkups. Even the most diligent personal hygiene can miss plaque, which may then harden into a calcified form impossible to remove with brushing and flossing called calculus (tartar). At least twice-a-year professional dental cleanings will clear away any remnant plaque and tartar, which can greatly reduce your risk for dental disease.

Make gum-friendly lifestyle changes. Smoking more than doubles your chances of gum disease. Likewise, a sugar-heavy diet, which feeds disease-causing bacteria, also makes you more susceptible to infection. Quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol consumption and following a dental-friendly diet could boost your teeth and gum health and avoid infection.

Watch for signs of infection. Although you can greatly reduce your risk of gum disease, you can’t always bring that risk to zero. So, be aware of the signs of gum disease: sometimes painful, swollen, reddened or bleeding gums. If you notice any of these signs, make a dental appointment—the sooner you’re diagnosed and begin treatment, the less likely gum disease will ruin your dental health.

If you would like more information on preventing gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

DakotaJohnsonandHerMissingToothGapSparksOnlineDebate

Celebrities’ controversial actions and opinions frequently spark fiery debates on social media. But actress Dakota Johnson lit a match to online platforms in a seemingly innocent way—through orthodontics.

This summer she appeared at the premier of her film The Peanut Butter Falcon missing the trademark gap between her front teeth. Interestingly, it happened a little differently than you might think: Her orthodontist removed a permanent retainer attached to the back of her teeth, and the gap closed on its own.

Tooth gaps are otherwise routinely closed with braces or other forms of orthodontics. But, as the back and forth that ensued over Johnson’s new look shows, a number of people don’t think that’s a good idea: It’s not just a gap—it’s your gap, a part of your own uniqueness.

Someone who might be sympathetic to that viewpoint is Michael Strahan, a host on Good Morning America. Right after the former football star began his NFL career, he strongly considered closing the noticeable gap between his two front teeth. In the end, though, he opted to keep it, deciding it was a defining part of his appearance.

But consider another point of view: If it truly is your gap (or whatever other quirky smile “defect” you may have), you can do whatever you want with it—it really is your choice. And, on that score, you have options.

You can have a significant gap closed with orthodontics or, if it’s only a slight gap or other defect, you can improve your appearance with the help of porcelain veneers or crowns. You can also preserve a perceived flaw even while undergoing cosmetic enhancements or restorations. Implant-supported replacement teeth, for example, can be fashioned to retain unique features of your former smile like a tooth gap.

If you’re considering a “smile makeover,” we’ll blend your expectations and desires into the design plans for your future smile. In the case of something unique like a tooth gap, we’ll work closely with dental technicians to create restorations that either include or exclude the gap or other characteristics as you wish.

Regardless of the debate raging on social media, the final arbiter of what a smile should look like is the person wearing it. Our goal is to make sure your new smile reflects the real you.

If you would like more information about cosmetically enhancing your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Space Between Front Teeth” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”





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