November 7, 2013
It is common to experience dentine hypersensitivity, with symptoms ranging from moderate to severe. Why does it happen and how do you know if this sensitivity is something to be concerned about? The first step is to determine the cause.
The most common cause of the sensitivity is exposure of the dentin. Dentin is the layer immediately surrounding the nerve of the tooth. It is alive and usually covered by the gum tissue. When gum recession is present hypersensitivity is common. Other contributors to temporary tooth hypersensitivity include teeth whitening and dental procedures such as fillings, periodontal treatment, and braces placement or adjustment. These are temporary and should be of no concern.
Permanent hypersensitivity, however, may require treatment. To understand the cause of sustained hypersensitivity, let us explain the structure of dentin and why it serves as a ‘hot spot’.
The dentin contains a large numbers of pores or tubes that run from the outside of the tooth to the nerve in the center. When dentin tubes are exposed, there is a direct connection between the mouth and dental pulp, which houses the nerve and blood supply of the tooth. External stimuli, such as mechanical pressure (tooth grinding or clenching – bruising the ligaments holding the teeth in place), temperature changes, as well as chemical stimuli (sweet–sour) are transmitted to the pain-sensitive dental pulp and activate nerve endings. A short and sharp pain is the result. These external stimuli cause fluid movement in the open tube that is transmitted as pain sensations. Something needs to be placed into the dentin tube to plug it and stop this fluid movement.
The first step in doing something about dental hypersensitivity is to determine the cause; our professional team at Just For Grins Family Dentistry can help you with this. Whether the sensitivity is due to exposed dentin or an underlying cause such as abscess or decay, corrective measures are needed. Contact us sooner rather than later so Drs. Jonathan and Kristen Angwin can reduce the sensitivity, and provide you with some relief!
October 31, 2013
Halloween is fast approaching, and Drs. Jonathan and Kristen Angwin wanted to be sure to wish our patients a happy day, no matter how you might celebrate this holiday. The Halloween that is familiar to most people today bears little resemblance to the original Halloween; back in the “old days” it wasn’t even called Halloween!
Festival of the Dead
Halloween started out as a Celtic festival of the dead that honored departed loved ones and signified a change in the cycle of the seasons. The Celtic people viewed Halloween, then called “Samhain,” as a very special day – almost like our New Years day in fact, as their new calendar year began on November 1st. Samhain was the last day of autumn, so it was the time to harvest the last of the season’s crops, store food away for winter, and situate livestock comfortably for the upcoming cold weather. The Celts believed that during this day, the last day of winter, the veil between this world and the spirit world is the thinnest, and that the living could communicate with departed loved ones most effectively on Samhain due to this.
Halloween as we know it today started because Christian missionaries were working to convert the Celtic people to Christianity. The Celts believed in religious concepts that were not supported by the Christian church, and these practices, which stemmed from Druidism, were perceived by the Christian church as being “devil worship” and dangerous.
When Pope Gregory the First instructed his missionaries to work at converting the Pagan people, he told them to try to incorporate some of the Pagan practices into Christian practices in a limited way. This meant that November 1st became “All Saints Day,” which allowed Pagan people to still celebrate a beloved holiday without violating Christian beliefs.
Today, Halloween has evolved into a day devoted purely to fun, candy, and kids. What a change from its origins! We encourage all of our patients to have fun during the holiday, but be safe with the treats. Consider giving apples or fruit roll-ups to the kids instead of candy that is potentially damaging to the teeth.
Remind kids to limit their candy and brush after eating it! Sweets can cause major tooth decay, so to avoid extra visits to our Keller, TX office, make your Halloween a safe one!
October 24, 2013
Halitosis is the scientific name for bad breath. It is one of the most common oral concerns, and it affects a large percentage of the population, including children. Having bad breath can be embarrassing and a nuisance. When considering what to do about halitosis, the team at Just For Grins Family Dentistry highlights that you need to focus on the cause, rather than just masking the problem.
Children commonly have bad breath because of an upper respiratory infection. This includes a common cold, postnasal drip, or allergies. When this is the case, treatment may be complicated if one or more of these issues is chronic.
Another cause of halitosis in children is a condition with their teeth or gums. Just as in adults, gum disease has a distinctive malodor. The quality of brushing and flossing in children directly influences the presence of gum disease. If there is a large untreated cavity, there will be a strong smell causing bad breath. Both of these issues need professional attention, including a visit to the dentist.
Tonsillitis can also cause halitosis in children. It happens because of a constricted airway, resulting in mouth breathing. Mouth breathing is a concern because of how much it dries the tissue in the mouth. This makes any bacterial infection in the mouth worse and causes an increased potency within the bacteria in the mouth.
Treatment of halitosis is as varied as the causes listed above. Beware of ingredients in products that mask bad breath. Sucking on a mint on a regular basis will cause more harm than good because of potential decay. Chew sugarless gum and mints.
If you have any other questions, feel free to call us at Just For Grins Family Dentistry or ask Drs. Jonathan and Kristen Angwin during your next appointment!
October 17, 2013
You already know that Just For Grins Family Dentistry recommends you come in for a checkup and cleaning at least every six months, but do you know what your child’s dental needs are? From the time children are babies and growing in their first teeth, their oral health care needs may be different from adults. It’s important to know what they need, and when, to help them grow strong, healthy teeth.
When to See Our Team at Just For Grins Family Dentistry
While dental care (at home) can begin as soon as your baby starts to show signs of that first tooth, most experts do not recommend you see a dentist until your child is at least one year old. The child will likely be too young at this point to have a full dental exam, but we can take a look at your baby’s teeth and give you tips for brushing and flossing properly.
By the time your child has all of his or her baby teeth—usually around 24 to 30 months of age—we can begin scheduling regular checkups and cleanings.
What to Expect on the First Visits
The first visit to our Keller, TX office for a full exam will mostly involve getting to know Drs. Jonathan and Kristen Angwin and staff members, and making your child feel comfortable. Let us know if you would like to sit in the exam room during the appointment, but keep in mind that it may be beneficial to leave your child alone with Drs. Jonathan and Kristen Angwin for a portion of the appointment so we can start building trust with your child.
Our team at Just For Grins Family Dentistry will likely do some or all of the following during your child’s visit:
- Look for signs of decay or other tooth or gum problems
- Examine your child’s bite, checking for misalignment that could lead to problems in the future
- Clean the teeth, and apply fluoride if your child is old enough
- Talk to you about proper oral health care for your children
- Answer any questions you may have about caring for your child’s teeth, which may include topics like fluoride needs, nutrition and diet, teething, and the frequency of future checkups
In most cases, we will recommend that you bring your child in every six months for regular checkups, the same as your recommended frequency.
Understanding your child’s unique dental needs is important for providing the best possible care when it becomes necessary. We look forward to building a good relationship with your child so coming to the dentist is a fun, rewarding experience and not a frightening one.