Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Stain?

One of the most appealing attributes of a tooth-colored filling is that it blends in seamlessly with the remaining natural structure of your tooth. This is a marked improvement over unsightly, metal fillings. Unfortunately, the attractive appearance of a tooth-colored filling is not a permanent thing. As you expose your filling to coffee, fruit juices, smokables, and other staining substances, they can stain unevenly with your natural enamel and stand out like a sore thumb. Over time, a brown outline may start to form around your filling, spoiling the pristine appearance of your smile if it’s located on one of your front-facing teeth.

When a filling gets stained, it’s not as easy to bleach the stain away in the same way that you can bleach your natural tooth structure. You can, however, polish the filling until it regains its former appearance.

More importantly, a stained filling may be indicative of tooth decay. If you notice any stains on your teeth, pay our Issaquah dentist a visit to make sure that there’s nothing wrong.

On the Lookout for Bruxism

Teeth Grinding

Most people grind their teeth every once in a while, but grinding too much can quickly become a problem that your Issaquah dentist may have to deal with. The medical term for tooth-grinding is “bruxism”, and it can wear down your teeth, give you headaches, and put strain on your jaw that can lead to TMJ disorders.

Symptoms of Bruxism

One of the problems with bruxism is that many people don’t even notice that they suffer from it. This could be because they only grind while asleep, but they can also grind throughout the day without being conscious of the action. It therefore pays to be on the lookout for the warning signs; if your jaw is frequently sore for no apparent reason, or if you notice a family member habitually grinding, this may be something to bring to the attention of your dentist.

The Condition called ‘Halitosis’

Causes of Bad Breath

The causes may be any or a combination of these factors:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Decaying cavities, infected gums, food debris stuck between teeth or under the gums.
  • Tobacco products
  • Dry mouth, producing less saliva flow
  • Mouth infections as gingivitis, periodontitis, impaction, tooth abscess
  • Disease conditions, like diabetes, sore throat, bronchitis, liver failure
  • Certain foods like garlic, onions and spices
  • Certain medications can cause bad breath (ex. insulin)
  • Ill-fitting and unclean dentures and braces
  • Large doses of vitamins, like the Vitamin B group
  • Chronic alcoholism

What to do to help Bad Breath?

Visit Meadow Creek Dental in Issaquah

Firstly, a visit to Meadow Creek Dental, the Issaquah dental clinic, could do you a lot of good. This state of affairs can be cured with proper oral hygiene. Simple, everyday hygienic practices like brushing, flossing and mouth gargles are teeth and gum-saving. Here at the Meadow Creek Dental, corrective and restorative measures will be employed on presenting oral situations like cavities, infected gums, and other mouth infections.

This bad breath is not life-threatening and you will be on your way to renewed oral health with some life-style adjustments. Your good Issaquah dentist should see to that. However, if your halitosis is a symptom of a medical condition, your dentist will certainly encourage a medical consultation.

What’s Causing Tooth Sensitivity?

Understanding Why Teeth Become Sensitive

Are your teeth sensitive? There are a variety of reasons that are causing you to wince from tooth sensitivity. Some of the biggest causes are everyday activities you take for granted, while others aren’t so simple. All must be looked into and treated by your dentist or you may end up losing teeth.

The way you brush is one reason.

You might be brushing too hard, using too much force or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. Over time, hard brushing can erode the protective layers of your teeth and expose microscopic hollow tubes that lead to dental nerves. When exposed to cold or hot temperatures, such as drinking cold water or sipping coffee, the teeth become sensitive. Sometimes acidic or sweetened foods can cause the same. Your dentist will tell you to use gentler motions while brushing. Also, cut down on acidic intake, like tomato sauce, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, and pickles, for acid wears down enamel.

Are you using whitening toothpaste?

Some brands use hard chemical formulas as whiteners. Ask your dentist about it and he may switch you to another less caustic formula. In like manner, some mouth rinses bought over-the-counter can make teeth sensitive due to their alcohol content. Rinses can be real irritants especially if your dentin is already exposed. Gargle with water instead and don’t forget the brushing and flossing. You might have a cracked or chipped tooth that exposes dentin or pulp, or you might have open spaces at the edges of tooth fillings, openings that expose the tooth to bacterial attack and decay.

Are you a tooth grinder?

Called bruxism, you unknowingly clench or grind your teeth while you sleep. Over time you can erode enamel layer and expose sensitive dentin. Your dentist can prescribe a nightguard for you. Another cause of sensitivity is an excessive buildup of plaque that can cause tooth enamel to wear away. And do you notice receding gums? Receding gums are looking like your teeth are elongating as gums pull away from hugging your crowns. You might even have pockets, spaces created between your teeth and gum tissue. It’s a sign of late gum disease. It also causes sensitive teeth. A dental visit is long overdue.

Saving Sensitive Teeth in Issaquah

Where sensitive teeth are concerned, come to Meadow Creek Dental. We can point out to you where your problems lie and give you tips to prevent further sensitivity. Treatment procedures are in order to prevent tooth loss.

Dealing With Tooth-Grinding

Is tooth-grinding starting to cause you pain?

Your Issaquah dentist can help you out! Try following these simple tips to reduce your grinding and spare yourself the grief of broken teeth and jaw pain:

  • People often grind when they are feeling stressed. Figure out the cause of your stress, and find a way to cope with or alleviate this stress.
  • Pain in the teeth or jaw area can cause you to grind. Have your dentist look at any potential aggravators in your oral cavity.
  • Cut back on caffeine.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • If you habitually chew items that are not food, like pens, bottle caps, or even gum, you’re training your jaw muscles to clench. This can lead to grinding.
  • If you grind during the day, you can train your jaw muscles to relax by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
  • If you grind while you sleep, try relaxing your jaw muscles. Hold a warm washcloth against your cheek for a few minutes before going to bed.

Visit Meadow Creek Dental in Issaquah

Visit our dental office in Issaquah if you need a consultation for your teeth-grinding or if you may think you grind or even clench your teeth while sleeping.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Our Issaquah dentist is proud to be able to offer sleep apnea treatment. This unfortunate condition affects the lives of many Americans, many of whom don’t even know that anything is wrong. It can sap your energy, increasing stress levels and contributing to heart disease, so be on the lookout if you think you may be at risk.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you frequently stop breathing while you sleep. This forces your brain to wake up, often only partially, so as to start the air flowing again. You could potentially have your sleep cycle interrupted throughout the night without even being aware of it.

Possible Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

If you think you might have sleep apnea, look for the following symptoms:

  • You’re prone to loud snoring.
  • Your partner reports that your breathing occasionally stops while you sleep.
  • You sometimes wake up suddenly, choking or gasping for air.
  • You frequently wake up with a sore or dry throat in the morning.
  • You sleep restlessly, or suffer from insomnia.
  • You are unusually sleepy during the day, even if you think you got a full night’s sleep.
  • You suffer from frequent morning headaches.
  • You experience forgetfulness and changes in mood.

Sleep Apnea Treatment at Meadow Creek Dental

Sleep apnea is very difficult to diagnose, and can only be properly identified by a medical professional. To find out more about sleep apnea and to explore your options for getting treatment, contact Meadow Creek Dental.

Warning Signs of a Cracked Teeth

A crack in your tooth is nothing to trifle with. Any fracture in your tooth represents a breach of your protective enamel layer, which invites decay at least as bad as any cavity.

To make matters worse, you can have a crack in your tooth without even realizing it for weeks on end. They might feel normal to the touch, and not exhibit any symptoms until the bacteria infect your pulp and you require a root canal.

Possible Warning Signs

With this in mind, be on the lookout for the following warning signs:

  • A potentially erratic pain, particularly when you chew. The pain might come when you release your bite.
  • Swollen, pocketed, or painful gums.
  • Sensitivity to exposure to hot or cold substances. It is common for cold temperatures to be particularly painful.
  • Irregular feelings on the surface of a tooth, like a rough or sharp feeling.

If you think that you may have cracked one of your teeth, make an appointment with our Issaquah dentist right away. It may be your best shot at saving the tooth.

You Can Tell if Your Child is at Risk for Caries

Tell-Tale Signs Your Kid is High-Risk

Most 2 year olds have never been to a dental clinic and, in fact, 25% of kids in kindergarten have not seen a dentist face-to-face. If parents know what to watch out in their toddlers, including what they feed them, they’d be aware that bad or good habits are forming contributory to their oral health. As parents, you have to ask yourself.

Does your child have special health care needs including physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive or emotional impairment?

A child with such a special need have difficulties learning proper oral care; parents themselves will have to perform brushing and flossing on the children. In some cases, the child will have to be reminded all the time. And then, does he or she snack several times a day? Constant exposure to sweet or starchy foods enables the buildup of tartar on tooth surfaces and crevices, including under the gums and hard-to-reach areas. Same thing happens if your child frequently takes sodas, juices, shakes, or sports drinks in lieu of water.

And is your child currently on the bottle or nursing?

Know that it can lead to baby bottle syndrome, a condition of tooth decay that develops on the infant or a nursing child’s dentition due to long- staying bottle feeding. This can happen if the child sleeps with his bottle or if it is used as a pacifier. The liquids rich in sugar tend to stick around, especially on the upper front teeth, and are a magnet for bacterial attack.

Have you brought your child to the dentist already?

It is advisable that at the appearance of his first baby teeth, parents should already have dental consultations. The dentist will advise you properly. He will tell you to brush baby’s teeth before bedtime with a soft cloth or wet soft toothbrush, to lessen snacking and intake of sugary drinks, to drink fluoridated water, and to wean your toddler off the bottle by one year of age, at least. He will certainly also ask you to bring the patient to him regularly.

Meeting Your Toddler’s Issaquah Dentist

Know more about keeping your child away from tooth decay. Without knowing it you might be starting your toddler on certain habits affecting his oral health. We are just as concerned. Come visit us at Meadow Creek Dental for your baby’s first exam.

The Causes of TMD

A disorder in your temporomandibular joint, known as a TMD, comes in many forms.

“What Is the TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is the area just in front of your ear, where the lower jaw connects to the side of your skull. The joint comprises a complex system of muscles, ligaments, bones and cartilage discs that act together as a hinge and enable you to move your lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side. Any situation that causes the jaw to malfunction is called a TMJ disorder, and its symptoms can carry discomfort to the ear canal.” (Source: Colgate)

They generally represent a problem with the joint of your jawbone or the muscles that are used to manipulate this bone. The root cause of many TMD’s is often hard to pin down, but some of the most common problems include the following:

  • If you are a woman, particularly a woman between the age of twenty and forty, you are statistically more likely to develop a TMD. The reason behind this is not well understood.
  • An injury suffered around the area of your jaw, neck, or head.
  • Excessive clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth, which puts a lot of stress on your jaw muscles.
  • A TMD is occasionally the symptom of a more serious disease, like gingivitis or oral cancer. These can affect the way your jaw fits into your skull.
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in your jaw can come in the form of a TMD.

Meadow Creek dental can help you to overcome your TMD’s. Consult our Issaquah dentist during normal business hours to learn more.

Why is My Tongue Red?

Normally, your tongue should have that common pink coloration. If your tongue ever turns red, it may be harmless, or it may be indicative of an unfortunate disease that requires the attention of your dentist or doctor. What follows is a list of some of the more common conditions that might make your tongue turn red:

  • Geographic Tongue: Also known as benign migratory glossitis, this condition gets its name from the irregular patterns that form on your tongue. These patches, which may be outlined with a white border, resemble geographic formations. It is usually nothing to worry about, but talk to our Issaquah dentist if it persists for more than a couple of weeks.
  • Kawasaki Syndrome: Children are generally the only people who exhibit this condition. It is paired with a very high fever, and possible swelling in the hands and feet. This is a condition that should be brought to your doctor.
  • Scarlet Fever: This is an infection that sometimes causes your taste buds to become inflamed, giving your tongue a strawberry-like appearance. Your doctor will need to give you an antibiotic treatment.
  • Vitamin Deficiency: Red tongue may simply mean that you need to get more vitamin B12 or folic acid.