The Link Between Sugar and Cavities

The Link Between Sugar and Cavities

When you were little, your dentist probably warned you against the dangers of eating too much candy and not brushing your teeth. However, it isn’t necessarily the sugar that causes trouble in your mouth — it is the acid.

Sugar and Cavities

After you eat something sweet, sugar is left behind on your teeth. Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one enjoying the sugar, the bacteria in your mouth do too!! The bacteria eats the sugars, which creates an acid that, if left on your teeth, begins to break down and destroy your tooth’s enamel, consequently causing cavities.

Good Oral Hygiene is Key

When you brush your teeth, you are removing that acid and preventing it from sitting on your teeth and damaging your enamel. However, it is critical that you brush your teeth often and thoroughly to remove the acid. When you miss areas in your mouth, like the deep grooves in your teeth, the acid lingers which may then break down your tooth’s enamel.

In addition to regular brushing, flossing and fluoride are key. Flossing helps to remove the plaque build-up between teeth and remove that acid. Fluoride is another excellent protector. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that hardens the enamel on your teeth, making it difficult for the acid to break down and destroy your teeth’s surface, which results in fewer cavities.

It is also important that individuals are mindful of their sugar intake. It isn’t just candy, cookies and cakes you must be wary of. Soda and fruit juices all contain sugars that can linger on your teeth. Sticky candies and even dried fruits, such as raisins, are especially important to be careful with. They are difficult to remove and require impeccable hygiene. Rinsing with water following sugary snacks helps to dilute the acid and may help to decrease the risk of cavities.

If you want to reduce your cavity risk, it is crucial that you are not only mindful of the amount of sugar you ingest, but also your own oral hygiene habits. Regular visits to the dentist are necessary to ensure your teeth receive the proper treatment they need to remain healthy and beautiful. If you have a high risk for cavities, you may want to consider sealants for deep grooves so that sugar cannot stick into these areas, and the regular use of fluoride rinses.

General Anesthesia in Dental Treatments: Challenges and Best Practices

General Anesthesia in Dental Treatments

Though the majority of dental procedures can be easily performed without anesthesia, since the 1840’s general anesthesia has been an important part of dental procedures. For complicated dental treatment, dentists may use general anesthesia to ensure that the patient is comfortable and not able to feel any movement inside his or her mouth. It is also recommended for children and adults who experience dental anxiety.

What is General Anesthesia?

General anesthesia uses inhaled gases, also known as anesthetics, and intravenous drugs to make an individual unconscious during a medical procedure. When using general anesthesia, the patient does not feel any type of pain and the brain does not respond to pain signals, keeping the individual comfortable throughout the entire procedure. It is typically used if extensive dental work is required. For more basic dental procedures, other forms of sedation may be used. A few common procedures that may require general anesthesia include wisdom teeth removal, cleft repairs, and extensive oral surgeries, such as placement of implants or removal of pathology.

Challenges of General Anesthesia

Should this be included at this point?

While general anesthesia has its benefits, it also has serious risks for medically compromised patients. It is important to ensure that your dentist is fully aware of your medical history prior to any treatment. The health of the patient is seriously considered before general anesthesia is administered in a Cloverdale dental clinic. There are several health conditions in the patient that can cause serious challenges and may even prohibit administration of general anesthesia. A few common health concerns that increase your risk of a negative outcome include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Conditions
  • Excessive drug and alcohol usage
  • Seizures

Best Practices for General Anesthesia

Before general anesthesia is administered, a detailed health evaluation is given to the patient. When general anesthesia is given to patients, it is typically administered by IV or for our younger patients, through inhalation. Specialists receive extensive training to administer general anesthesia and know how to care for a person under its influence. While a patient is unconscious, they will be carefully monitored to ensure their blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate remain normal.

While general anesthesia has its challenges, it is important to remember it is extremely safe when it is administered by trained professionals in your Etobicoke dental office. At Cloverdale Dental, we understand the risks and know how to properly care for you and your loved ones while receiving extensive, complex dental care.

Cracked Tooth: Causes, Treatments, and Recovery

Cracked Tooth

Even though our teeth are tough and strong, still it is possible for them to be cracked. Cracked teeth can be due to a minor issue or a serious problem however, they are one of the leading cause of tooth loss in industrialized nations.

Causes
Cracked tooth can be caused due to variety of issues, including:

  • With age, the risk of cracked tooth raises, mostly occurring in people over 50
  • Pressure caused by grinding teeth at night
  • Large fillings can weaken the teeth and thereby cause teeth to crack
  • Chewing or biting hard foods can cause teeth to weaken. Example, nuts, ice or hard candy
  • Falling over
  • Abrupt changes of temperature in the mouth. For example, from eat something extremely hot and then trying to cool your mouth with ice water
  • Injury or accidents that affect the mouth, for instance in car accidents, sports-related injury etc.

Symptoms
Every cracked tooth does not produce symptoms since some are minor and some are serious. But the common symptoms include:

  • Teeth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet beverages and food.
  • Pain that comes and goes but is not continuous
  • Severe pain while chewing or biting food
  • Swelling of the gum around the affected tooth

Diagnosis
In order to diagnose a cracked tooth, your dentist will take below measures:

  • Visual examination with the use of a magnifying lens to check the cracks in the tooth.
  • Ask questions about your dental history
  • Tactile Examination. Your dentist may scratch the surface of the tooth with a dental explorer. The tip of the explorer may catch the crack.
  • Use a dental dye such as gentian violet or methylene blue stains which highlights facture lines and makes the crack stand out.
  • Bite test is performed using orange wood sticks, cotton wool roll etc. If you have a cracked tooth, you may perceive the pain on sudden release of pressure. This confirms the diagnosis.
  • Transillumination locates a complete vertical root fracture. It probes your gums looking for inflammation.
  • X-ray. While x-ray doesn’t necessarily reveal the crack, however, it can highlight the poor pulp health, which helps to diagnose a crack.

Treatment
Treatment may vary on the size of the crack, symptoms, and location. Depending on these factors, your dentist may recommend:

  • Bonding – In this procedure, a plastic resin or a tooth-colored resin is used to fill the crack, to restore the look.
  • Root canal– This a procedure used when the infection extends to the pulp of a tooth and root canal eliminates the infected pulp to prevent further weakening of the tooth.
  • Crowning – A dental restoration process to cap a tooth or dental implant. This is required to be done on large cavities.
  • Extraction – When the affected area or the tooth is severely damaged, then removing the tooth becomes the only option.
  • No treatment – When the affected tooth has a hairline crack in the enamel that does no causes any problem, then no treatment is required.

A cracked tooth is a common problem for many people. You can’t treat a cracked tooth at home, however, you can try to prevent one by practicing good dental hygiene, avoid chewing on hard foods and wearing a mouth guard if you grind your teeth or play outdoor sports.