Providing Montclair with the Most Advanced Dental Services for More than 70 Years

Providing Montclair with the Most Advanced Dental Services for More than 70 Years

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What Should I Do if I Have an Accident?

If you have a...
•Knocked-Out Tooth: Rinse the tooth gently in water. If possible, place the tooth back in the socket or put in a container of cold milk. Seek immediate dental care and bring the tooth.
•Broken Tooth: Gently clean the injured area with warm water. Place a cold compress on face, near the injured tooth, to minimize swelling. Seek dental care.
•Bitten Tongue or Lip: Apply pressure with a clean cloth to stop bleeding, and a cold compress for swelling. If bleeding continues, go to the hospital emergency room.
•Possible Fractured Jaw: Immobilize the jaw by any means (e.g. necktie or towel); apply a cold compress for swelling. Go to the hospital emergency room.
•Toothache: Rinse with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any trapped food between teeth. For swelling, apply a cold compress. Don't use heat, or place aspirin on tooth or gums. See your dentist as soon as possible.
•Object Wedged Between Teeth: Try to remove it with dental floss. Do not use a sharp instrument. See your dentist for follow up care as soon as possible.

What Are The Warning Signs of Oral Cancer?

Every year, 30,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed. Most occur in people 40 and older; and smokers have a much greater risk than nonsmokers. Oral cancer screenings should be a part of your routine dental visits. You should also become familiar with these warning signs:

• Red sores on lips, gums, or mouth that do not heal
•White, scaly patches on mouth or lips
•Swelling or lumps on mouth, neck, lips, or tongue
•Numbness or pain in mouth or throat without obvious cause
•Repeated bleeding in mouth without obvious cause
•Difficulty chewing or swallowing, or moving tongue or jaw

The sooner oral cancer is discovered, the better the chance for successful treatment. If you have any of these symptoms see your dentist immediately.

How Do I Know if I Have Periodontal Disease?

Surprisingly, the major cause of tooth loss in adults is not decay, but periodontal (gum) disease. It affects more than half of all people over age 18.  Untreated periodontal disease will eventually lead to tooth loss. Remember, gum disease is not painful in the early stages, but if you have any of these warning signs you may be suffering from periodontal disease: 

•Gums that bleed when you brush
•Gums that are swollen, red, or tender
•Permanent teeth that have loosened
•Persistent bad breath
•Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
You can keep your gums healthy by brushing and flossing twice a day, eating a healthy diet, and having regular dental cleanings and examinations.

What Can I Do About Sensitive Teeth?

Nearly one in four adults experiences "prickly" or "jolting" tooth pain when consuming hot or cold food and beverages, or when brushing or flossing.  Dentin hypersensitivity, or tooth sensitivity, is usually the result of eroded or chipped enamel, or natural changes in the gums, which leave teeth and nerves, exposed to outside stimuli. You don't need to suffer from hypersensitivity. We can recommend the treatment that will be best for you. Solutions include:

•Use of a desensitizing toothpaste
•In-office fluoride or varnish treatments. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, and binds to the tooth, reducing the transmission of sensation through it.
•Wearing a nightguard
•Another option is to have your dentist seal the sensitive areas with plastic sealants or tooth-colored resins.

How Should I Care For My Teeth During Pregnancy?

It's not true that a tooth is lost for every pregnancy. However, there is a special need for good oral hygiene during pregnancy, since dental disorders, including gingivitis, may occur more frequently due to a rise in your body's hormone levels. Further, there is an association between the presence of periodontal disease and low birth weight of infants. Keep your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy by following these guidelines: 

•Continue regular dental visits, and tell your dentist that you are pregnant. Most routine procedures can be performed
•The fourth through the sixth months are usually the best time for treatment.
•Avoid X-rays, except for emergency treatment. As always, you should be well protected with a lead apron. Digital radiology can greatly reduce your exposure to radiation.
•Brush with fluoride toothpaste and floss after every meal.
•Eat a diet sufficient in vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium, and phosphorous to nourish both you and your baby, whose teeth develop between the third and sixth months.

Why Does My Dentist Ask for Updated Medical Records?

Your dentist will periodically ask you to update your medical records, and for good reason. This information will help your dentist to provide you with the safest and most effective dental care. 

For example, certain patients, such as those with joint replacements or organ transplants, or with heart conditions including murmurs, prosthetic valves, mitral valve prolapse, or a history of rheumatic fever, need to be pre-medicated with antibiotics prior to dental or surgical procedures to avoid infection. Patients who take blood thinners, aspirin, or high blood pressure medication also need to alert their dentist in order to avoid complications. To ensure safe and effective dental care, always discuss with your dentist any medications you are taking, or any changes in your medical status.

Is TMJ Giving Me a Headache?

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain strikes the area where your upper and lower jaws join, in front of your ear. It is usually the result of unconscious tooth grinding caused by stress, or the result of trauma, such as a blow to the jaw, or a car accident.

Symptoms may include:
•Headaches in the temples
• Pain in the temporomandibular joint and surrounding region
•Joint noise such as clicking, popping or grating
•Limited ability to open mouth
Treatment for TMJ pain includes eliminating hard, chewy foods, placement of a removable appliance in the mouth to reduce pressure, stress management, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgery is recommended only when conservative measures have failed.

How Do I Know If I’m Grinding My Teeth?

If you awake regularly with a dull headache, or experience facial pain, you may be grinding your teeth. Many people are unaware that they have this disorder because it often occurs during sleep. Your dentist, however, can usually detect the telltale signs of wear on your teeth. Tooth grinding can be caused by stress, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or crooked or missing teeth. In any case, it should be treated since it can result in painful or loose teeth, and tooth enamel being worn away.

Treatment can include one or more of the following:
•Stress reduction counseling
•Muscle relaxants and physical therapy
•Removing a tooth’s high spots
•Wearing a plastic mouth guard at night to prevent tooth grinding
•Reshaping or reconstruction of the biting surfaces with crowns or inlays

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