Sensitive Teeth – Treatments for Sensitivity

If you have sensitive teeth, there are a variety of treatments for sensitivity. Sensitive teeth may reroute your daily lifestyle due to the temporary shooting pain that’s experienced. Certain sensations, like “sourness” from candy, or temperatures, like hot tea, cause discomfort. Anyone can experience teeth sensitivity, regardless of their dental health.

Some factors of your oral health may contribute to sensitivity, including:

  • gum diseases
  • teeth chips or cracks
  • clenching and grinding
  • plaque buildup
  • acidic foods or drinks
  • aggressive brushing or hard bristles on your toothbrush
  • gum recession
  • teeth whitening treatments

Improve the symptoms of sensitive teeth by choosing a variety of treatment options. A proper diagnosis from a dentist will help guide you to the right treatment. Treatment of sensitive teeth varies with each patient, from changing your toothbrush to a softer head, to receiving a deep cleaning.

Treatment for sensitivity includes:

  • a custom night guard from your dentist
  • using a soft bristled toothbrush
  • switching to “sensitive” or “desensitizing” toothpaste
  • a dental cleaning from your hygienist
  • adding fluoride mouthwash to your daily routine
  • a fluoride treatment from your dentist or hygienist

If you experience sensitivity to hot/cold foods and more, take a trip to your dentist for evaluation. Sensitive teeth are an indication that you may need to change your oral care routine or receive treatment. Learn more about sensitive teeth in our blog “Sensitive Teeth,” at https://www.serenityhavasu.com/uncategorized/sensitive-teeth-what-causes-tooth-sensitivity/

To learn more about choosing the right toothbrush, we recommend visiting: https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/why-oral-b/electric-toothbrushes/types-of-toothbrushes

To learn more about choosing a sensitive toothpaste, we recommend visiting: https://oralb.com/en-us/oral-health/solutions/toothpaste/pain-relief-toothpaste-sensitive-teeth

Sensitive Teeth – What Causes Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can cause you to avoid hot and cold foods and beverages because of the overwhelming sensation. Sometimes, simply brushing teeth can be painful! Tooth sensitivity occurs when dentin becomes exposed in your teeth. Dentin is beneath the enamel (hard, outermost layer of your tooth). Increased exposure of dentin can cause more serious problems to your teeth, such as tooth decay!

Tooth sensitivity is the most common type of “toothache.” The pain that is experienced with sensitive teeth can be described as sharp and shooting.

Gum disease, grinding, harsh brushing, post-whitening treatment, and diet are all leading contributors to the experience of tooth sensitivity.

Sweet, acidic, and hot/cold food and drinks are major causes of tooth sensitivity if they are able to sit on the surface of your teeth for long periods of time.

Read more of our blogs on how to prevent and treat tooth sensitivity. If you’re in pain, please contact us at Serenity Dental so we can help relieve you and help you enjoy your smile.

Gum Disease – Gingivitis and Periodontitis

In adults, gum disease is a leading cause for dental problems and losing teeth! It may be hard to tell if you have gum disease because it typically painless. Your dentist, hygienists, and assistants are all knowledgeable in the signs and symptoms of gum disease. With regular check ups, you can avoid and potentially reverse gum disease.

Some problems can signal the presence of gum disease, including:

  • gums that bleed easily
  • tender, inflamed, and/or red gums
  • bad breath or taste
  • loose permanent teeth
  • change in bite
  • change in the way partial dentures fit

The risk of developing gum disease can increase with some factors:

  • poor or inconsistent oral hygiene
  • tobacco products and smoking
  • some medications
  • diabetes or other health conditions
  • crooked teeth that are hard to clean effectively
  • pregnancy

Early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which includes symptoms of red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Luckily, gingivitis is reversible in most cases! Receiving a deep cleaning from your dental hygienist can help you regain a healthy mouth, followed by good daily oral hygiene.

Periodontitis is advanced gum disease. Over 45% of adults in the United States suffer with chronic periodontitis! Consequently, tissue and bone in the mouth are both affected over time. Aggressive periodontitis causes rapid loss of both bone and tissues and could occur in the entire mouth.

Researchers and doctors are starting to link the onset of systemic diseases (such as heart disease) to periodontal disease. it is important to schedule regular dental check ups and cleanings. Outside of the dental office, great oral hygiene helps maintain your smile for a lifetime to come!

Invisalign Clear Braces

Invisalign may be a better option for straightening your smile because it avoids the use of traditional metal braces. Clear and discreet, Invisalign aligners ditch the metal appearance and are made of a safe, thermoplastic called SmartTrack, which is FDA approved. Invisalign aligners do not contain BPA, latex, or gluten.

Instead of at home services, it is much safer to see a trained orthodontist or dentist for Invisalign clear braces because they can ensure your treatment is custom to you and safe. Some patients only need 6 months of daily Invisalign treatment! This may vary depending on your unique smile alignment, though Invisalign is the easiest treatment option as a removable upper and lower appliance.

Invisalign works by tracking your use and alignment through 3D technology and digital planning. You likely will receive new Invisalign aligners with each visit to your dentist or orthodontist to continue the process of straightening your smile.

There are so many reasons that Invisalign may fit your ideal treatment:

  • Clear, Invisible look
  • Easy to clean and take care of the aligners
  • Removable for eating/drinking
  • Comfortable material that won’t cut the gums and lips like metal braces
  • 3D impressions – no gooey material!
  • Dentists/Orthodontists that provide Invisalign are certified
  • Compliance Indicators – show if you’re wearing your aligner enough

Call us today to schedule a consultation to see if Invisalign is your treatment of choice for a beautifully straight smile!

Water Flossing Vs. Traditional Flossing

Both traditional dental floss and water flossing are effective ways to thoroughly clean the spaces between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.

Dental floss is guided by your fingers to reach contact between teeth and under the gums. To effectively use dental floss, guide the floss to make a “C” shape around the side of the tooth – like the floss is hugging it. Dental floss and handheld flossers are both effective as long as you can reach all of your teeth.

A water flosser is a powered flossing tool that uses water pressure to clean the spaces between teeth and under the gums. It’s long head is very easy to handle, making it a breeze to reach all areas of the mouth.

There are pros and cons to each flossing method, but the most important habit to keep would be daily flossing, however you find it best.

Dental Floss Pros

  • Easy to travel with
  •  Very inexpensive
  • Comes in different thickness and types for your unique smile
  • Effective tool for removing plaque and food from between teeth

Dental Floss Cons

  • May be hard to gain the proper technique
  • May be hard to reach all areas of the mouth
  • May “pop” between your teeth or be hard to guide between teeth

Water Flosser Pros

  • Very easy to access all teeth
  • Comes with different speeds for sensitivity
  • Can mix water with mouthwash for a fresh feeling
  • Can work in a specific area for as long as needed – such as a deep pocket

Water Flosser Cons

  • May take counter space
  • May cause sensitivity in the gums due to water pressure
  • May cause gum recession if improperly used

Laser Dentistry Benefits

What is Laser Dentistry?

Lasers in dentistry work by delivering energy in the form of light and can be used for a variety of procedures, offering several benefits to patients. Lasers can:

  • be used to remove the decay and prepare the tooth for a filling. 
  • reshape gums and remove bacteria when receiving a root canal. 
  • be used as a pain free cutting instrument for a biopsy and relieve canker sore pain. 
  • can speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures.

Receiving dental treatment with a laser rather than a dental drill may

  • reduce the need for numbing
  • reduce anxiety that a patient may have with drilling
  • reduce bleeding and swelling
  • and more!

With the different types of tissues in the mouth, there are several more applications of lasers that dentists are happy to provide.

  • In hard tissues, lasers are used as cavity detectors, providing early detection of small cavities. Lasers can also be used to seal the tubules at the root of teeth, which helps remove the feeling of having sensitive teeth.
  • In soft tissues, lasers can lengthen the look of teeth and eliminate the look of a gummy smile. Also, lasers are used for frenulas (“tongue-tied” children) and patients with speech impediments. 

Laser dentistry has shown helpful in various treatments for patients and will continue to become more popular as more dentists use laser in their work.

Please contact us today at Serenity Dental if you are interested in incorporating laser dentistry into your treatment!

 

What to Expect With Dental Veneers

Have you ever seen a smile that you won’t forget? Have you ever looked to Hollywood celebrities and wondered how they were born with perfect teeth? Believe it or not, these smiles most likely were crafted by a dentist. Hollywood celebrity smiles are almost all credited to cosmetic dentistry and dental Veneers. All parts of a smile can be changed by cosmetic dentistry with Botox and Juvaderm injectables, dental bonding, Invisalign and clear braces, teeth whitening, implants, and dental Veneers, right in your dentist’s office.

Dental Veneers (sometimes called Porcelain Veneers) are an increasingly popular way to enhance and change the esthetics of your smile by crowning (capping) your existing teeth with vibrant, natural looking Veneer crowns. Depending on what you want through a smile makeover, every tooth, only the top teeth, or only the “smile teeth” (the teeth visible when you smile) can be crowned to achieve a new look. Don’t expect a perfect smile in one visit to your dentist, though. To achieve a “perfect” smile, it requires planning and a good relationship with your dentist. Any parts that you don’t like about your smile or envy about another’s smile can be made for you during planning with your dentist. Tooth color, size, straightness, angle, shape, and even personality, can be chosen when planning the look of your dental Veneers. Try-in or 3D models of your future teeth can be made so that you can actually see a new smile before committing to it.

To permanently seal your dental Veneers, your dental office will schedule you for a few visits. First, there will be a consult where you and the dentist will talk one-on-one to agree on your smile makeover’s product. Secondly, a “Build-Up” appointment will be scheduled, where the dentist gently shapes your existing teeth to properly house your dental Veneers. This feels like a filling or regular crown appointment, and shouldn’t cause anxiety. The dentist will make you temporary crowns until your dental Veneers are ready. Next, an “Impressions” appointment will be scheduled or even on the same day as the Build-Up, where impressions (a mold) of your teeth are taken to send to the lab designing and hand-crafting your dental Veneers. Improvements in dental technology have been to use 3-D scanners and avoid the gooey impression material all together in some offices. After a few weeks, your new smile is ready to be “seated,” as a dentist would say, meaning permanently bonded to your existing teeth to house a new, improved smile.

On the day of your Seat appointment, get ready to get emotional and feel vibrant. In several cases, such as the viral videos of makeovers – people get emotional when they see their new smile – and it’s contagious to the dentist and staff caring for your makeover. Get ready for lots of photos and a perfect smile every time!

When Teeth are Lost, Bone is Lost

Most people think of bone as rock-solid, but it’s actually a living tissue that’s constantly changing. This has significant implications for your oral health, general health, and appearance — if you are one of the 70% of Americans missing at least one tooth.

Throughout the day, your top and bottom teeth make hundreds of fleeting contacts with each other. These small stresses are transmitted though the periodontal ligament (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth) that supports each tooth in its socket like a hammock. Think of it as a gentle push on the hammock, which causes the tooth to gently bump the underlying bone. The bone then builds up in the spot that’s receiving stress to counteract it. This constant remodeling of bone is what allows bone to stay healthy and strong.

When a tooth is lost, the bone does not receive that gentle stress. It reacts by literally melting away. Sometimes this happens fairly quickly — in a matter of months. After the tooth-supporting bone is lost, the jawbone itself begins the same process of deterioration. This could eventually change the shape of the face, as the distance from nose to chin can decrease — even if only a few back teeth are missing. The results aren’t pretty. But the good news is, there’s a way to prevent all this.

Dental implants, which function as substitute tooth roots, actually save underlying bone when teeth are lost. They do this because they are made of titanium, which fuses to the bone in which it’s set, stabilizing it. The implant is topped by a realistic-looking crown, which replaces the part of the missing tooth that was visible in the mouth. Together, they look and function just as your natural tooth did.

If you are missing a lot of teeth, implants can also be used to anchor bridges or even removable dentures while providing that same bone-saving benefit. And when you consider that they are so durable they should never need replacement, implants are a great investment.

If you have any questions about dental implants, please contact us, or schedule an appointment for an implant consultation.

You can read more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”

What’s the Best Repair for a Chipped Tooth – Composite Resin or Porcelain Veneer?

When choosing among different ways to solve a problem, knowledge is power. In the case of selecting the best repair for a dental problem, count on your team of dental professionals to advise you. But you as the patient make the final decision, and it helps to thoroughly understand the different options, their advantages and disadvantages. If you have a chipped or broken front tooth, your likely repair options are composite resin or porcelain veneer.

Composite resins are synthetic materials that can be colored to match your natural teeth. The material is bonded to the tooth surface using adhesives that become part of the tooth structure, strengthening the original tooth. The repair looks as good as, or even better than, your original tooth. Such repairs can be used to restore small to large chips and other damage caused by decay or trauma.

Since the composite resin repair is applied directly to the tooth in the dental office, the repair can be made in a single appointment. You do not need to use a temporary repair while waiting for the final replacement to be made at a dental laboratory. This also means that the repair will cost less.

Another advantage of composite resin is that less of the healthy tooth needs to be removed to prepare the tooth to receive the replacement, since it bonds directly to the original tooth structure.

Porcelain veneers are very thin layers of tooth-colored porcelain that are also bonded to the tooth. They are usually recommended in situations with more serious injury or risk to the tooth, such as teeth that have been fractured, treated for root canal, or injured in contact sports.

Application of porcelain veneers may require more tooth preparation (in which more of the original tooth material must be removed) before the restoration can be bonded in position. Bonded porcelain veneers are likely to be longer-lasting than composite resins. They must be fabricated in a laboratory, so they require more than one visit and cost more.

All of the above are factors to consider in choosing composite resin or porcelain veneer to restore your chipped or damaged tooth. As usual in making such decisions, the final choice will depend on your individual situation.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about bonding to repair chipped teeth. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”

What Scientific Studies Reveal About Smile Makeovers

A generation ago, hearing the term, “smile makeover,” would most likely have resulted in questions and puzzled looks. However, through the power of both the media and celebrities, today it has become a common household term with over 70% of all inquiries coming from people in the 31 to 50 year old age group, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). While some people seek cosmetic dentistry purely to boost their self-esteem, others pursue it to improve first impressions during business and social interactions, as many studies have revealed that first impressions are the ones that typically last the longest.

The AACD study also revealed other interesting statistics that support why a smile makeover is a wise choice that can yield a life-changing return on your investment — you!

  • 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset.
  • 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success.
  • 50% of all people polled were unsatisfied with their smile.

Another important study recently conducted by Beall Research & Training, Inc., an independent marketing research firm, used before and after photos of smile makeovers for polling purposes. The research found that people who have had a smile makeover are viewed by others as more attractive, intelligent, happy, successful in their career, friendly, interesting, kind, wealthy, and appealing to the opposite sex. This evidence clearly proves just how important a first impression can be as well as what it can silently communicate about you.

Want to learn more?

Contact us today to discuss your smile makeover questions or to schedule a consultation. We look forward to meeting with you to learn about your specific concerns and to show you what we can do for you. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctorarticle, “The Impact Of A Smile Makeover.”