Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.
“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.
Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.
“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.
Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?
Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.
Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a thirdÂ to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.
Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”
Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.
If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”
What your dentists in Edison want you to know
There are many conditions that can result in jaw pain. Pain in your jaws can affect your everyday life. It can radiate into other areas of your face and neck. The pain can be sharp and stabbing, or deep and throbbing. It can last for minutes, or be a chronic problem that lasts for days or weeks. Drs. Saul and David Frechtman at Frechtman Family Dental in Edison, NJ want to help relieve your jaw pain.
A frequent cause of jaw pain is inflammation of your temporomandibular joint, known as the TMJ. This joint has a unique movement much like a sliding hinge. It connects your lower jawbone to your skull and helps you open and close your jaw. The TMJ can sometimes be knocked or moved out of position, causing irritation, inflammation, and swelling. You will feel pressure and pain that can sometimes be severe.
Common signs and symptoms of TMJ problems include:
Fortunately, there are effective treatments for jaw pain related to your TMJ. Your dentists in Edison may recommend:
Jaw pain can also be the result of erupting third molars, commonly called wisdom teeth. Wisdom tooth eruption can be felt between the ages of 18 and 25. If there is not enough room for wisdom teeth, the erupting teeth will put pressure on the teeth around them, causing pain. The soft tissue around the wisdom teeth can also become infected, causing pressure and pain. Treatment is usually removal of the wisdom teeth.
Grinding or clenching your teeth is another common cause of jaw pain. When you clench or grind, your teeth press against each other with excessive force, causing wear on your teeth and inflammation in your jaws. Chronic clenching and grinding can result in inflammation of the TMJ and the possible need for tooth restorations and root canals.
If you think you are grinding or clenching, a custom-made nightguard might be the answer. Nightguards protect your teeth against grinding forces and injury. You wear the nightguard while you sleep so you grind the nightguard instead of your teeth.
You can get relief from jaw pain from the experts. Call Drs. Saul and David Frechtman at Frechtman Family Dental in Edison, NJ. Call today!
Modern restorations for severely damaged or missing teeth are truly remarkable. Although the type of restoration may differ — dental implant, bridge, or veneer — the end result is a life-like facsimile that matches the shape and color of your natural teeth.
To achieve this result, though, the new crown or veneer requires fabrication in a dental laboratory, a meticulous process that may take a few weeks. In the interim, we often install temporary crowns. These help in a number of ways: because we’ve prepared the teeth for final restoration by removing some of the tooth structure, the temporary crown protects and stabilizes the teeth, reduces sensitivity and helps maintain gum health. Temporary crowns also enable the patient to present a more natural smile while waiting for the permanent restoration.
Temporary crowns are typically manufactured to fit a wide range of patients, similar to an “off-the-rack” suit from a clothing store. In recent years, though, customized “tailored” temporary crowns designed specifically for an individual patient have grown in popularity among dental professionals as well as patients.
In creating a customized temporary crown, we first perform a smile analysis similar to one used for a permanent restoration. After a careful assessment of your mouth, we would then make recommendations about the elements to include in the temporary crown, including shape and color. We would also factor in your desires and concerns into the final design. Working together with the dental laboratory, we would then have the temporary crowns produced and ready to apply as soon as we complete the preparatory work.
Customized temporary crowns also serve another important purpose as a kind of “dress rehearsal” for the permanent restoration. This gives you an opportunity to “try out” the smile you’ll have with the permanent restoration in your daily life. We can then use your experience to make adjustments to the permanent crowns before final production.
While customized temporary crowns involve more effort and expense than the traditional, the benefits are worth the added cost, especially if you’re involved with an extensive “smile makeover” procedure. Not only will you look better while your permanent restoration is under construction, your temporary look will give you added confidence that your future smile is right for you.
If you would like more information on temporary and permanent dental restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Concepts of Temporary Restorations.”