January News from Art of Dentistry:

Dentin Hypersensitivity

The next time you come in for an appointment, you might tell us that you've experienced irritation, a slight pain (or even a shooting pain) around your teeth – possibly after drinking cold or hot beverages or eating sugary or acidic foods. Known as dentine hypersensitivity, this is a condition experienced by more than half of the population.

Your teeth may feel sensitive when exposed to foods, drinks and even cold air because the nerves inside the dentin of your teeth are exposed. This is caused by changes in your mouth, such as wear and tear and decay. Coffee, tea, wine and some fruits and their juices contain acids that erode protective layers of the tooth, slowly revealing the root surface. Grinding your teeth is also a contributing factor to sensitivity.

To lessen the pain and irritation as well as slow decay, it's important to develop and maintain good home care habits. At Dr. Green's office, we recommend brushing gently and thoroughly twice a day with a non-abrasive toothpaste, flossing once a day, and also using an alcohol-free mouth rinse. You may want to try a sensitive toothpaste or a fluoride gel, which Dr. Green would prescribe.

Keeping up with your dental cleanings will also help, as we remove tartar and check the health of your gums. We can also apply fluoride treatments and sealants to help strengthen and defend your teeth or fit you for a mouth guard to wear at night, if grinding is a cause of your sensitivity. Give us a call at (207) 829-4444 to find out how we can help with your sensitivity issues.

Bad Breath

Halitosis, more frequently known as bad breath, is a common dental problem that most people experience. When you visit us for your next scheduled appointment, we could talk about the best ways to prevent and treat bad breath, and find out what might work best for you and your mouth.

Since bad breath comes from the air we exhale, it's key to consider the kinds of foods we eat. Garlic, onions, and some meat, fish and cheese can cause unpleasant odors. Smoking and other types of tobacco use as well as excessive alcohol consumption are also contributors. While the strength of bad breath may vary throughout the day, it's usually most noticeable in the morning, after a night of inactivity and low oxygen exposure to the mouth.

At Dr. Green's office, we recommend developing good home care habits, such as brushing your teeth in the morning, before bed, and after eating, flossing and using mouth rinse. We also suggest gently brushing your tongue twice a day, especially toward the back. This is where bacteria, food deposits and remnants of post-nasal drip accumulate and thrive, causing odors. It is also important to thoroughly clean mouth guards, retainers and dentures. Dentures should also be soaked overnight in an antibacterial liquid.

For chronic bad breath, from which about a quarter of the population suffers, we can set up an appointment for you to test and diagnose the type of halitosis you are experiencing. We can also offer treatment plans for you right here in the office. Call us today at (207) 829-4444 to find out more about how we can assist in battling bad breath!

Periodontal Issues and Your Health

During your next visit to our office, we might discuss periodontal issues with you, even if you're not currently experiencing problems. Since periodontal disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease, it is directly related to general health. It's important that you're aware of how it can affect you and how to prevent it.

Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums due to bacteria eroding the tissues that support our teeth, exposing the roots. It has been linked to a increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory diseases and problems with pregnancy. It can also indicate the presence of other health concerns, such as cancer and osteoporosis. Symptoms of periodontal disease include gums that bleed easily, bright red or purple gums and gums that feel tender to the touch, but are pain-free otherwise.

At Dr. Green's office, we recommend a combination of good home care habits with regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings to prevent periodontal disease. At home, it's essential that you gently brush your teeth, especially around the gum line, twice a day and floss once day. It's also helpful to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, limit sugary, sticky and acidic foods and beverages, use an alcohol-free mouth rinse and change your toothbrush every three to four months.

We may suggest you visit us every four months for an exam and cleaning, instead of every six months. The frequency of your visits depends on how well you care for your mouth, problems you may have, if there is a history of periodontal disease in your family and how quickly tartar builds up on your teeth. It's crucial that we check for small issues before they become big problems. Contact us today at (207) 829-4444 with any questions about periodontal issues.

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