Teeth are typically the first thing that comes to mind for people when they hear the words dentist or dentistry, which makes sense—the root word dent actually means tooth! However, your teeth require healthy gums to hold them in place.
Did you know gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss? That’s why it’s important for us to examine your gums just as thoroughly as your teeth, and for you to remain diligent about your oral hygiene routines and cleaning visits with your Bangor dentists.
If You Have Gum Disease
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If your jaw clicks when it opens, or you can’t fully open it, or you have pain in your face and trouble chewing, then you’re among the 15% of Americans who have chronic jaw pain.
Your jaw joint is called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. The name comes from the jaw’s role to connect your temporal bone in the skull with your mandible bone. Some people experience short-term pain that goes away with ice and over-the-counter medicine. But if you have chronic jaw pain or you can’t open your mouth, you might have a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and it’s important to see your dentist right away to find relief.
Bangor dentists Dr. James Sevey and Dr. Natalie Sigwart explain more below about the causes and treatments of jaw pain.
Different Kinds of Jaw Pain
Pain in your jaw can feel different depending on what’s going on. In order to best understand what’s causing your pain, try to notice when you specifically feel the pain and what specifically it feels like.
Do you have tightness, soreness, or clicking? Is the pain shooting sharp or a dull ache? Some jaw problems can also cause pain in your face, head, neck or shoulders. Many patients who have chronic migraines don’t realize it’s actually a dysfunction of their bite and TMJ. It’s important to see a dentist and explain what you’re feeling so that they can offer the best treatment options. Read more ›
Tagged with: jaw pain
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, Dental Health
Did you know that unhealthy gums might put your brain at risk?
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, which harms your memory, ability to think, and can cause changes in your personality. It’s very common and usually affects people aged 60 and over. And, Alzheimer’s might be significantly more likely to happen if your mouth and gums aren’t healthy.
The Link is Inflammation
A New York University College of Dentistry study found, “long-term evidence that periodontal (gum) disease may increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer’s.”
Gum disease is a case of inflammation in your mouth. Inflammation is a natural and appropriate response in your body to fight invaders and infection. Gum disease and oral inflammation can be a minor problem or become very serious. But chronic inflammation causes a variety of health concerns that can affect everything from your oral health to your brain. Unfortunately, inflammation problems are increasingly common in the US. Read more ›
Ah, nighttime… the end of the day, the ceasing of work, and hopefully a good night’s sleep. But did you know things are still happening in your mouth all night long, even if you’re blissfully unaware of it? The Bangor dentists of Creative Dental Solutions shed some light on the world of your mouth and everything going on inside of it while you catch some zzz’s.
You produce much less saliva overnight than you do during the day—your body’s way of minimizing the risk of choking. This leads to the common occurrence of dry mouth. Dry mouth can be a bit uncomfortable and lead to more cavities and bad breath. It’s perfectly fine and normal to have less saliva at night but to take care of your oral health, it’s important that you brush and floss before going to bed.
Saliva usually rinses away the food debris that can stick around and cause plaque and bad breath, so it’s a good idea to head to bed with a blank canvas. Keeping a glass of water by your bed can relieve the pain in your mouth and throat from dry mouth.
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They say not everything natural is good for you. Nature has many poisons that humans have experimented with and learned the hard way to avoid. Tobacco is a popular plant that we’ve learned can really do a number on your health. Using tobacco is a personal and communal practice that can be really hard to avoid, even if you know it’s bad for you. Working with your doctor and Bangor dentists Dr. James Sevey and Dr. Natalie Sigwart will be essential if you’re concerned about your health and want to stop using tobacco.
What Is Tobacco?
Tobacco is a green, leafy plant that has long been grown, dried, and used by cultures around the world. It’s usually smoked but is sometimes chewed or inhaled. Tobacco is known to affect the way people think, feel, and behave by interrupting the brain’s normal communication with the rest of the body. The tobacco plant contains the addictive stimulant nicotine, which is why a smoking habit is so hard to break. Cigarettes contain 2,000 ingredients known to be toxic and harmful to the human body.
Effects of Tobacco on Oral Health
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, Dental Health
Malocclusion is the dental term for misaligned teeth, a common condition affecting about 200,000 people in the United States every year. Many seek cosmetic solutions to feel better about their smiles, but there are also negative health consequences including pain and discomfort that result from improperly aligned teeth.
The most severe cases may require surgical treatment beyond orthodontics, such as orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery. Bangor dentist Dr. James Sevey would like to share some information about malocclusion, the effects it can have on oral health, and potential treatment solutions.
Occlusion & Bite
Occlusion refers to the alignment of your teeth, specifically the way your upper and lower teeth fit together. The way your upper and lower dental arches fit together is called your bite. If your upper teeth fit slightly over your lower teeth with the points of molars fitting the grooves of the molars directly opposite, you’ve got a healthy occlusion and bite. While the upper teeth keep us from biting our cheeks and lips, the lower teeth protect the tongue.
What Causes Malocclusion?
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There are two kinds of people in this world: those who floss, and those who don’t. Diligent flossers everywhere inspire those of us who live with them or know them. Flossing may not be a philosophical virtue but it’s certainly high on the list of qualities amongst people who “have it together.” Read more below from Creative Dental Solutions about why flossing is so important and what alternatives you have if you don’t like traditional floss.
The Point of Flossing
After you eat, tiny pieces of food are left everywhere in your mouth. Even though your saliva does a good job of rinsing a lot of food debris away, some leftovers stay stuck on and between your teeth and gums and must be brushed and flossed to get rid of it. You do have tons of natural bacteria in your mouth that help break down food buildup, but the bacteria leave behind a sticky film on your teeth called plaque that needs to be removed.
Everyone (even young kids) should brush for two minutes, twice a day, and floss once a day to remove food buildup and plaque from the places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. If you don’t stay on top of it, food buildup and plaque can quickly turn into bigger problems that cause tooth decay, gum disease, and inflammation in your mouth.
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If you need dental surgery, you may have a lot of questions and concerns. How much will it cost? How much will it hurt? Who is going to drive me home? And perhaps most importantly, what can I eat? Recovery can seem a lot more stressful if you don’t stock up on acceptable soft foods in advance. Bangor dentists Dr. James Sevey and Dr. Natalie Sigwart share a comprehensive list of foods in this article to help ease your mind—at least about one aspect of your procedure!
Types of Dental Treatments
Each type of dental treatment is different, so it’s important to follow post-operative instructions from Creative Dental Solutions regarding appropriate foods to eat. Certain surgeries require a strict liquid diet for a certain amount of time before transitioning to soft foods. Types of dental procedures that require soft foods while recovering may include:
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You had braces when you were younger and never experienced any jaw pain or other TMD/TMJ symptoms prior. Then, after you completed your orthodontic treatment, you developed a pain in your jaw, maybe accompanied by popping, locking, clenching and grinding. Maybe you developed these symptoms shortly after having your braces removed, maybe it was a decade later. Either way, could these two things be related?
What is TMJ?
First, let us explain a little bit about TMJ—what it is, what causes it, and how it’s treated. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction and is used to describe any condition affecting the jaw joint—but TMJ is often used to describe the dysfunction as well.
Your TMJ is a complex structure made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, lubricating systems, and shock-absorbing discs—all of which are subject to strain, sprain, and injury just like your other joints like your knees and shoulders. There are many factors that may contribute to TMJ dysfunction, including stress, injuries, habitual behaviors, as well as tooth alignment and bite problems.
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At Creative Dental Solutions, we take pride in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest and greatest in dental treatments and technologies. That’s why we think dental “lasers” are truly smashing. And if you’re worried about paying one million dollars, rest assured laser treatments are more accessible and affordable than ever. Austin Powers jokes aside, we’re here to tell you how lasers work in dentistry and how they can benefit your smile—and make for a more comfortable dental experience!
How do dental lasers work?
Advanced laser technology has been one of the most important improvements in modern medicine and dentistry, allowing us to hang up our other tools while providing treatments that are less invasive, more comfortable, and with healthier results than ever before.
All lasers work by creating energy in the form of light, but the precise function in dentistry depends on the type of procedure. With surgical and other types of restorative dental treatments, the laser functions as a cutting device, replacing sharp dental tools, or as a vaporizer of diseased or decayed tissue—leaving healthy tissue intact. For teeth whitening, the laser functions as a heat source to speed up and enhance the effects of bleaching agents.
No Fear Here
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