Cavities: Different Types and Different Treatments

Not All Cavities Are The Same

If you have ever had cavities, you may be familiar with the pain and discomfort they can give. So much so that you will seek specialized treatment to remove the symptoms and restore the concerned tooth’s normal function and form. There are different types of cavities as well as treatments they require.

Cavities are considered decayed parts of teeth, and they are not all the same. There are three types. A smooth surface decay is a type of cavity that occurs on the flat surface of the outside of teeth. It is not as serious as other types though it is the result of plaque buildup on the surface that points to faulty or ineffectual brushing and flossing. It is usually treatable with fluoride application. You have a pit and fissure decay when you find them at the back teeth. These teeth have chewing surfaces that are characterized by grooves and elevations where bacteria easily lodge; it can be prevented by proper tooth brushing. Unattended, this type of decay can become more serious. Lastly, a root decay is found in roots of the teeth, usually among older adults with receding gums.

Remember that plaque buildup is usually caused by oral hygiene neglect. Bacteria abound in the oral cavity and mix up with the plaque, secreting acids. This process creates cavities. There are a variety of treatment options available to address the problem and that depends on the severity of the decay.

Fillings are the most common form of treatment for moderate to severe cavities. The severity and location on the tooth dictate which dental filling is appropriate. Composite resin is the most common filling for front teeth cavities, including those in between teeth. They are tooth-colored, bond well with tooth structure, and are versatile. Cavities in the back teeth require more durable fillings because of the forces applied on them. Silver (amalgam) or gold fillings are used for these types. Other filling types are ceramics and glass ionomer.

Crowns are an option for the more extreme cases of tooth decay, when too much of the tooth structure is lost due to severe infection or trauma. Large fillings may not be the best option as they might just lead to cracking and breaking of both the filling and the little remaining tooth structure. It is better to use artificial crowns made of alloy or porcelain.

Root Canals are the solution for a tooth cavity with an already damaged nerve.The decay may have penetrated the dentin and damaged the pulp, necessitating complete removal of the dying or dead contents. It may also require placing a crown over the affected root.

Tooth extraction is the last resort for cavities when none of the above mentioned options are not sufficient to fix the problem. The gums may be infected and such may spread to the jaw bone. The resulting gap between the teeth will require a replacement crown.


What Causes Tooth Loss And How Can I Prevent It?

Causes And Prevention

Find out what causes tooth loss. Is it natural to lose teeth as we age? Are there ways we can decrease the chances of tooth loss or altogether prevent it from happening?

Tooth loss is when natural teeth become loose and fall out. While baby teeth falling out is natural, losing your adult teeth may be problematic because they cannot be replaced naturally. As humans, we don’t grow a third set of teeth. There are many ways adults lose their teeth over a lifetime. Here are the most common causes.

The most common cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease, a more serious form of gum disease characterized by infection of the gums, creation of pockets that create spaces between teeth and gums, and destruction of soft tissue and supporting bone. This condition results from untreated and progressing gingivitis.

Another cause is dental caries. This is brought about by the action of leftover food debris on tooth sides and surfaces with the action of bacteria. Acid results from this interaction which damages the enamel, weakening it and creating holes. If unattended, the decay can progress deeper into the tooth structure until the tooth can no longer be saved.

Injury or trauma to teeth due to sports, accidents, fights, and other events that deliver a blow to the face or mouth can result in broken, cracked, or chipped teeth, or even teeth completely avulsed from their sockets. Any break on the tooth surface can lead to infection and decay.

How do you prevent tooth loss?

Tooth loss prevention is generally tied up with the practise of good oral hygiene. Toothbrushing and flossing keeps caries at bay and maintains gum health. Regular visits to your dentist enables professional examination of your oral cavity, spotting the beginning formations of tooth decay, cracks, or chips on tooth surfaces that should receive immediate attention and treatment. Your dentist will also recommend that you use a mouth guard if you engage in especially high contact sports.

Dentist visits also afford regular professional cleanings every 6 months, at least, to maintain the health of your gums, treat gingivitis early, or prevent the progress of gum disease.


Preventing Tooth Loss in Issaquah

Do visit your dentist in Issaquah regularly for examinations and cleanings to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Regular consultations preserve mouth health for as long as can be.

All You Need To Know About Mouth Cold Sores

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment 

What are cold sores? Find out their causes and symptoms and how they are treated.

What are cold sores? Cold sores are painful viral infections in and around the mouth. Sometimes, they are  referred to as “fever blisters.” They appear as blisters, sometimes grouped in patches made up of very small, fluid-filled blisters. They manifest on or around the lips. A scab forms at the site after the blisters break and can last several days. However, they may not leave any scarring after the sores heal in several weeks.

What are the signs and symptoms?

There is a tingling and itching sensation around the lips, then blisters appear, after which, there will be oozing and crusting of the area. When it is the first time you are exposed to the virus, it may take about 20 days before the following signs appear: fever, painful gums, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes.

What triggers the resurgence of cold sores? 

Some factors like a fever, cold or flu, menstruation, allergies, or fluctuation in immunity response can cause recurrence. Likewise, even fatigue, stress, exposure to sunlight or wind, or a skin injury can trigger reactivation.

How are cold sores treated?

Antiviral medications as pills or creams can help sores heal sooner. They may reduce the severity, duration and frequency of future outbreaks. Anti-fever and pain relievers may help with the symptoms. A cold compress may reduce redness, remove crusting and promote healing; you can also use a lip balm. Relax to reduce your stress levels, avoid kissing while you have the blisters, don’t share personal effects, and avoid the sun and changes in temperature outdoors. 

Whether or not you may have cold sores, maintain a thorough oral care routine to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy.


Consulting With Issaquah Dentist

Know more about cold sores from your Issaquah dentist. If you think you may have these blisters, see us for a consultation.

Open Space, Open Invitation for Bacteria

Whether your toothbrush is placed in the vicinity of a toilet or across the room, studies have showed freckled specs of feces on toothbrushes, nondiscriminatory of distance. This becomes an even bigger problem in close quarters such as dorm bathrooms with multiple users. There are many disadvantages to sharing a community space with people who do not participate in a uniformed hygienic standard.

In the annual American Society for Microbiology forum, a presentation of fecal matter in toothbrushes was examined and how approximately 60% from the entire collection tested positive. Rather than individual toothbrushes coming into contact with fecal matter, the majority of contamination came from peers utilizing the same sharing space.

Contrary to popular movies where roommates sabotage one’s toothbrush by slushing it in the toilet, the contamination occurs when other people’s toothbrushes which are compromised come into contact with each other. It is the introduction of bacteria not part of one’s normal biology which prompts concern. That is not to say personal fecal matter entering one’s body during brushing is safe but foreign bacteria from another coming into oneself, is the main issue.

No matter the cleaning methods or lengths to protect one’s toothbrush via covers, the most prudent way for those who share bathrooms was to start at square one which is personal hygiene. With each individual’s copious efforts to maintain an unsoiled open space, less exposure to bacteria can be expected but regardless of exertions, the safest would be to store personal toothbrushes separately.

Toothbrush Care

Couple other suggestions consisted of not sharing toothbrushes, not using covers which provide a moist space for banter to amplify and multiply, replacements every 3 months and thoroughly washing before and after use as well as air drying.

After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, Meadow Creek Dental in Issaquah can make the extraction quick and easy. After your procedure, though, it is normal to experience a certain amount of discomfort. In the days following your extraction, consider the following tips to mitigate any pain and expedite your recovery:

  • Twenty-four hours after your procedure, rinse out your mouth a few times a day with a salt water solution of one teaspoon of salt mixed with eight ounces of warm water.
  • Common painkillers, or an ice pack applied to the outside of your face serves to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Smoke aggravates your delicate gum tissues. Avoid cigarettes and smokable products of any kind for the duration of your recovery.
  • Eat softer foods, like soups, oatmeal, and applesauce. Reintroduce hard foods to your diet gradually.
  • Reclining can encourage bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows as you sleep.
  • Avoid sucking actions, like drinking with a straw. This can dislodge your blood clot.
  • Try to take it easy. Stress encourages bleeding.

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.

Understanding Gum Disease: Treatment and Prevention

The Non-Surgical and Surgical Approaches

Gum disease is treatable and, in many cases, can be reversed if early intervention is applied. There are several options to manage and treat gum disease, from its early stage of gingivitis to periodontitis. Know your options and find out how this condition can be prevented.

Depending on the severity of gum disease different treatment modalities are offered by your dental professional. They can be non-surgical or surgical when necessary and if you are a candidate for it.

Nonsurgical modes involve controlling the growth and spread of bacteria. They are: Prescribing antibiotics. Your dentist may prescribe oral antibiotics for a period of time. The aim is to eradicate the pathogens that have been causing the infection. Your dentist may also give you an antibacterial injection directly into your gums and you would have to follow it up with the oral form accompanied by instructions.

Root planing and scaling is also non-surgical. It is nothing more than a deep cleaning of your teeth down to its roots. That means the cleaning has to reach under the gums. This can ensure that all bacterial plaque and hard tartar are removed. This is a professional cleaning performed at the dental office typically done every six months. It’s preventive. However, your dentist may encourage more frequent cleanings if you have gum disease already.

Surgical approaches involve surgery that aims to restore damaged supporting tissue. They are:
Flap surgery. It is for advanced or severe cases of gum disease. It involves surgically lifting the gums to rid the infected teeth of deep debris and tartar, and then the gums are replaced to snugly fit around the teeth involved, to leave no space between for bacterial entry.

Soft tissue grafts are indicated for those whose gums have already receded, where pockets have already appeared between gum and tooth, or if the gums have thinned. Soft grafted tissue from the roof of the mouth is stitched in place to add some bulk to the affected part. Bone grafts involve the use of your own bone piece, synthetic or donated bone to be grafted to replace any bone destroyed by the disease. The graft will be the base for new bone growth so that teeth stability can be restored.

How do you prevent gum disease?

Prevention is key to being able to preserve your healthy gums. Proper and diligent oral hygiene routine is essential. Brushing twice a day and flossing once daily can keep bacteria at bay. A good medicinal mouthwash may be prescribed as an additional preventive measure. A healthy diet, avoidance of smoking, and keeping regular dentist visits are also important.


Looking After Gum Health in Issaquah

When you visit your Issaquah dentist, rest assured that we are just as concerned with your gum health as that of your teeth – for complete and optimal oral health.

Understanding Gum Disease: Causes and Symptoms

Knowing The Root and The Signs

We know that gum disease is a very common oral condition among the population. While our teeth can have caries and result in decay, our gums as well are not spared from attack and deterioration. Gum disease usually starts out as gingivitis, and if left unattended, it can progress into its more serious form, periodontitis. Find out what causes gum disease. Know the symptoms that can warn you.

What causes gum disease?

  • The primary cause is plaque. It is a sticky film composed of debris, saliva, and bacteria that attaches itself to tooth surfaces, in between the teeth, and along and below the gum line. The acid in bacteria can damage tooth enamel and make it brittle and weak and susceptible to cavity formation. This allows entry for more bacteria and which can involve the gums.
  • Another cause for gum disease is a change in hormones. Gums can become more sensitive and prone to develop gingivitis in women, in cases of pregnancy, puberty development, also menopause.
  • Certain disease conditions can impede a person’s immune system making them deficient in battling oral infections. Due to weak immune response, those with diabetes, HIV, or cancer are more susceptible to develop gum disease.
  • There are medications that can cause dry mouth and put the gums in danger of disease. There are drugs that inhibit saliva production or cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Unhealthy daily habits, like smoking, neglect of oral hygiene, poor diet and the like, are contributory to poor gum health.
  • Another factor to consider is heredity or genetic history.

What symptoms tell you that you may have gum disease?

  • You have reddish, puffy, bleeding gums
  • You notice your gums are receding or that your teeth appear to look longer
  • You experience pain when you chew or bite down
  • You feel some teeth are wobbly or loose in their sockets
  • Your teeth has become sensitive to hot or cold or to pressure
  • You have foul-smelling breath or a bad taste in the mouth that does not go away
  • You notice a change in your bite or your teeth seem not to fit when biting

Looking After Gum Health in Issaquah

When you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, be sure to see your Issaquah dentist for a consultation. Early intervention is key to optimal gum health.

Care and Cleaning Tips for Your Electric Toothbrush

Consistent Performance with Consistent Care

Since your mouth is a repository of various types and amounts of germs, bacteria, and food debris, it is vital that the instrument you use to clean it must be clean and safe to use as well. Hence, caring for and cleaning your electric toothbrush ensure you are mouth-healthy. Here are some tips to benefit most from your powerhouse toothbrush.

Clean your toothbrush every two days or so, but more importantly, clean regularly. This is to prevent build-up of residue and other unwanted debris left behind there after use. Though the brush is battery-charged and has several working parts, do not worry that its operation will be affected by water. These toothbrushes are made to be water-resistant.

No special cleaner is required for electric toothbrushes. Just wipe off with a towel or wash cloth any leftover toothpaste, foam or grime. Or you can deep-clean by submerging the brush head into a bowl mixture of water, white vinegar and baking soda for at least half an hour. Rinse well in warm water. Be sure you also rinse the handle in warm water.

A cool, dry place and an upright position is the best manner to store your toothbrush. Air drying is best for the toothbrush’s electronic parts.

Be sure to not expose any electronic part of the toothbrush to water even though the toothbrush is water-resistant. It can cause a shock to the system inside or break the appliance. Do not put your toothbrush into the dishwasher or the microwave oven.

Replace your toothbrush head every 3 months. An expired toothbrush head will not give a consistent performance. Bristles can break and fray after long use, may no longer align in the same direction, or are no longer of the same precise length. There are electric toothbrushes that signal you that it’s time to change your toothbrush head.

Remember that proper maintenance of your brush heads is vital to the health of your teeth and gums. Though there’s a maximum life span for the brush head, keeping your appliance always clean will prolong its usability.


More Helpful Care Tips in Issaquah

When you’re looking for more helpful tips in oral health care, not limited to the tools you use for maintenance and hygiene, visit your Issaquah dentist at Meadow Creek Dental.

The Benefits of The Electric Toothbrush

Powerhouse Toothbrush

Have you ever shifted from using a manual toothbrush to an electric one and noticed the difference? Experts say that electric toothbrushes are better at plaque removal. With thousands of strokes per minute, they make quick work of plaque within a 2-minute brushing. So it can be said that electric toothbrushes afford better cleaning than their manual counterparts. That’s just one of the benefits of owning one.

Electric toothbrushes are “power” toothbrushes designed to do the work of cleaning your teeth for you. Once you get used to it, they actually are easy to operate. They come in different types and features so you have a wide option to choose which one is best suited for your needs.

Electric toothbrushes are easier to hold. They do not require a firm grip. They give the best and safest brushing results if you handle them with just your fingertips. As there is no tension in your hand, you tend to not scrub or apply too much brushing pressure.

These brushes are surprisingly gentler on your gums. Again, with a gentle hold on the handle, you merely let the head bristles slide and glide against your gum line. You can clean your gums and teeth at the same time. Like playing a violin, use soft and rhythmic motions as you go through the left, the front portion, and the right side of your arch, the upper or lower arch whichever you do first. You don’t scrub or apply pressure.

Electric toothbrushes are safe and easy for kids 3 years old and above to learn. Other types have their own age recommendations, as well as selections of designs kids will love, like Disney character handles and bright colors. People with certain degree of mobility issues, like arthritis, may find the use of electric toothbrushes a welcomed chore.

Some of these power toothbrushes have convenient features. Some brands can perform various technologies, like oscillating/pulsating/cupping/rotating or sonic. They come with different modes of brushing, like one for whitening, for sensitive teeth, or for gum massage, among others. They have timers, pacers, digital reminders, or Bluetooth connectivity. Truly, tooth brushing has come of age. Electric toothbrushes are all for the advancement of everyone’s good oral health.


Advancing Everyone’s Oral Health in Issaquah

If you are interested in switching to an electric toothbrush, let our Issaquah dentist, Dr. Dipti, tell you more about which brand or feature best suits your needs.