Posts for: April, 2018
How a root canal from your dentists in Rockville can save your smile
If your tooth is badly damaged or decayed, you may be tempted to just take the tooth out. Before you think about tooth removal, you owe it to your smile to give your tooth a second chance. Root canal treatment from Dr. Mehr Tucker in Rockville, MD, can help.
Badly damaged or decayed teeth can be removed, but once you remove a tooth, it leaves a large space in your smile. Your chewing ability is impaired, which can lead to problems with digestion. Your smile also isn’t as beautiful, which can lead to loss of self-confidence.
You can choose to live without the tooth, or you may choose expensive tooth replacement options like dental bridgework, partials, or dental implants. Why not try to keep the tooth in place? Now, it’s possible to give your tooth a second chance, thanks to root canal therapy.
Only your dentist will know for sure if you need a root canal, but you may experience some initial signs and symptoms which may indicate you need a root canal, including:
- Increasing pain when you eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages
- Swelling, redness, or a red or white bump on your gums
- Bleeding, drainage, or pus coming from your gums near the tooth
If you do need a root canal, your dentist will simply create a small hole in the top of the tooth and draw out the inner tissues of the tooth. This reduces swelling and inflammation. A sedative filling material is then placed inside the tooth to relieve any additional inflammation.
After the inflammation and infection are eliminated and your pain is gone, a permanent, inert material is placed inside the tooth. The opening is closed with a small permanent filling.
You deserve a complete, beautiful, pain-free smile and now you can have it, thanks to root canal treatment. To find out more about root canal treatment and other restorative and cosmetic dental services, call Dr. Tucker in Rockville, MD, today at (301) 963-8900 or email at [email protected]!
Because the mouth is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, we go to great lengths to eliminate pain and discomfort associated with dental work. Anesthesia, both local and general, can achieve this during the actual procedure—but what about afterward while you’re recuperating?
While a few procedures may require prescription opioids or steroids to manage discomfort after a procedure, most patients need only a mild over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever. There are several brands available from a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen work by blocking the release of prostaglandins into the body, which cause inflammation in tissues that have been damaged or injured.
Unlike their stronger counterparts, NSAIDs have fewer side-effects, cost less and aren’t addictive. And unlike opioids NSAIDs don’t impair consciousness, meaning patients can usually resume normal activities more quickly.
But although they’re less dangerous than opioids or steroids, NSAIDs can cause problems if taken at too strong a dose for too long. Its major side effect is interference with the blood’s clotting mechanism, known as “thinning the blood.” If a NSAID is used over a period of weeks, this effect could trigger excessive external and internal bleeding, as well as damage the stomach lining leading to ulcers. Ibuprofen in particular can damage the kidneys over a period of time.
To minimize this risk, adults should take no more than 2400 milligrams of a NSAID daily (less for children) and only for a short period of time unless directed otherwise by a physician. For most patients, a single, 400 milligram dose of ibuprofen can safely and effectively relieve moderate to severe discomfort for about 5 hours.
Some patients should avoid taking a NSAID: pregnant women, those with a history of stomach or intestinal bleeding, or heart disease (especially if following a daily low dose aspirin regimen). If you have any of these conditions or similar concerns, be sure you discuss this with your dentist before your procedure for an alternative method for pain management.
If you would like more information on managing discomfort after dental procedures, 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 “Treating Pain with Ibuprofen.”
If you’re committed to providing your family nutritional, low-sugar snacks, you’re not only helping their physical well-being but their dental health too. If you have school-age children, though, you might be concerned about other snacks available to them while away from home.
To begin with, any potential problems at school with available snack items might not be as bad as you think. A few years ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established new snacking guidelines for public schools. Known as the Smart Snacks in Schools initiative, the new guidelines require schools to only allow snacks sold on school grounds that meet minimum nutritional standards. In addition, these guidelines promote whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
Still, the guideline standards are only a minimum, which could leave plenty of room for snacks that don’t meet your nutritional expectations. And school-offered snacks aren’t the only ones available on campus: there are also those brought by other students, which often get swapped around. The latter represent tempting opportunities for your child to consume snacks that aren’t the best for dental health.
But there are things you can do to minimize the lure of these poor snacking opportunities at school. First and foremost is to educate your child on why some snacks are better for them than others. In other words, make nutrition an instilled family value—and, of course, practice what you preach.
You can also send them with snacks you deem better for them than what’s available at school. Of course, you’ll be competing with a lot of exciting and enticing snacks, so try to inject a little “pizzazz” into yours like a dusting of cinnamon or a little parmesan cheese on popcorn. And use a little creativity (even getting your kids involved) to make snack choices fun, like using cookie-cutters to shape whole-grain bread and cheese into shapes.
And consider getting involved with other parents to encourage school administrators to adopt stricter snack standards over and above the Smart Snacks in Schools initiative. This not only may improve the nutritional content of available snacks, but also transform a “family value” into a community-wide appreciation for snacks that promote healthy teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on dental-friendly snacking, 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 “Snacking at School.”