Dental Emergency? Try These Tips

Dental EmergencyEmergencies of any kind can cause fear and discomfort. Dental emergencies are no different and can be particularly concerning. What exactly are you supposed to do if you experience a dental emergency such as a broken tooth, a knocked out tooth, or a painful toothache? The team at our Doylestown dental office is here to give you some advice on how to handle some of the most common dental emergencies.

Top Dental Emergencies & Treatment Tips

It’s important to note that any dental emergency, including injuries to the mouth, teeth, or gums, should be treated by a dentist in Doylestown as quickly as possible. But if you can’t get to the dentist right away, there are some things you can do to help minimize discomfort and protect your tooth.  

Chipped or Broken ToothWhether caused by a pesky popcorn kernel, sports injury, or grinding your teeth, a chipped or broken tooth may cause you to panic. Not to worry, there are many forms of cosmetic dentistry that can restore your tooth and smile. However, right after the injury happens, you may be in some pain or bleeding. The best thing to do is to rinse your mouth with warm water, apply gauze and a bit of pressure to help stop any bleeding, and use a cold compress to help reduce any swelling.

Knocked Out ToothHaving a tooth knocked out can certainly be scary. If this happens, the first thing you should try to do is stay calm and remember the following tips:

  • Only touch the crown of the tooth. Do not touch the roots.
  • Try to replace the tooth into the socket.
  • Place the tooth in a glass of milk, store it in a cup of spit, or keep it safely under your tongue and get to a dentist. Your tooth has the best chance of survival if it’s returned to the socket within an hour.

Toothache A toothache is usually the mouth’s way of telling us that something isn’t right, and it definitely shouldn’t be ignored. See your dentist as quickly as you can to increase the chance of easier and successful treatment. Prior to your appointment, you can ease the pain by using a cold compress or over-the-counter pain reliever.

We never want our patients to experience a dental emergency, but the truth is, they happen. If they do, we welcome you to call our dental office in Doylestown. We’re here to help protect smiles and treat them if something happens. Call us today.

Dental X-Rays, Who Needs ‘Em? (You Do!)

Dental XraysIf you see your dentist in Doylestown regularly, then you’ve probably had a dental x-ray or two taken in your life. The reason we rely on x-rays so heavily is that they’re absolutely a crucial part of creating a custom treatment plan that’s going to address your dental issues and needs, the right way.

We know it may seem like they’re just any other x-ray and you might even wonder why you actually even need dental x-rays in the first place. The truth is, these images can save your smile and maybe even your life. Let’s learn more about what x-rays are and what they do for you.

Why Do We Need X-Rays?

Radiographs or x-rays are relied on heavily for preventive dentistry or to help fix issues such as cavities, decay, and breakage. Generally, dentists rely on 2D or 3D imaging to gain a better understanding of what’s going on inside your mouth, highlighting your jaw bone health and tooth structure that lies beneath your gums and enamel. It gives us the added ability to find out if something is going on inside your mouth or teeth that’s not 100 percent visible to the naked eye.

Are Dental X-Rays Going to Expose Me to Radiation?

Most of the x-rays used in dental offices across the country today give off a minimal amount of radiation. It’s important to note that you should always limit your exposure to x-rays and avoid repeated use as it can damage cells over time due to the small, continued radiation aftereffects.

Dental x-rays are certainly safer than ever thanks to advancements in dentistry over the years. Dentists now rely on using lower x-ray dosages, higher quality film, film holders, and well-designed, full-body aprons lined with lead. It’s important to note though that most of the modern dental x-ray technology that’s available today give off very little stray radiation.

How Do Dental X-Rays Work?

The process of obtaining a good dental x-ray image can occur a few ways. Usually, a dentist or a dental specialist will cover you with the iron apron for protection before putting a small plastic device in your mouth and asking you to bite down. Your bite is going to hold the x-ray film in place for accurate, immediate results.

In instances like this where we’re x-raying the inside of your mouth, it’s referred to as obtaining intraoral photos. There are also several extraoral x-rays that your Doylestown dentist and orthodontists can use to help fix a smile, with extra meaning outside of your mouth. These images are useful in seeing your jaw bone and entire skull as a whole how it relates to your mouth and oral health.

If you’re experiencing a problem or if you feel like something isn’t right with your smile, please call our Doylestown dental office. We may need to use one of these super cool x-ray techniques to help get you and your smile back into tip-top shape.

Is Calcium Important for Teeth?

foods with calciumWe make a commitment to every patient who walks through the doors of our dental office in Doylestown to restore and protect both their oral and overall health. One way we can do this is to help your teeth and bones stay strong so that they can last a lifetime. One of the most significant nutrients our bodies need to keep them healthy is calcium. Let’s take a look at why it’s important in so many different ways.

Calcium Does Your Smile & Body Good

You might already know that calcium can be found in a variety of different foods and beverages. But did you know that you can also try calcium supplements (ask your doctor first) to help boost your intake? This can be a good option for people who struggle digesting dairy products that are high in calcium such as cheese, milk, and yogurt. Remember that magnesium and vitamin D support calcium’s effort to protect your teeth, keep your smile free from decay, prevent, loose teeth, and ward off gum disease.

Consider adding these calcium-rich foods to your diet:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Almonds
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Oranges
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes

How to Know You’re Getting The Right Amount of Calcium

It can be tricky knowing if you or your family members are getting the right amount of calcium in your diet to help protect your teeth and keep your bones healthy. Your dentist in Doylestown is here to help with some daily calcium recommendations courtesy of the Institute of Medicine.

AGE                    MG/DAY

1 -3                      700

4 – 8                    1,000

9 – 18                  1,300

19 – 70                1,000

71+                      1,200

This is just a general guideline for you to get an idea about daily calcium intake. There are also other recommendations that are gender specific, i.e., a woman’s calcium intake should increase when she’s pregnant.

No Bones About it – Calcium is Key to Being Healthy

We talked about it briefly earlier in this blog, but calcium is also super important for your bone health too. Why does this concern your Doylestown dentist so much? Because we’re concerned about what a calcium deficiency can do to your jaw bone. Your jaw bone serves as the anchor for your teeth, so if it’s in poor health, you could run the risk of having loose teeth or losing them altogether. The other bones in your body also need calcium to help prevent damaging osteoporosis later in life.

We hope you learned a little something here today about how important it is to get the right amount of calcium in your diet, no matter what your age. It’s a benefit that your whole body will thank you for. If you have any questions about your smile or need to schedule a visit with us, please don’t hesitate to call.

The Signs of Oral Cancer

oral cancer ribbonApril is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and at our dental office in Doylestown, we know just how serious and scary oral cancer can be. To do our part to help raise awareness, we’re here to share facts, signs, and risk factors of oral cancer with our patients and neighbors.

Facts About Oral Cancer

  • More than 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year
  • Oral cancer kills more than 8,500 people annually
  • Nearly 80% of oral cancer diagnoses are in tobacco users
  • Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women
  • Patients who have had oral cancer once are up to 20 times more likely to develop another form of cancer

The Importance of a Fast Diagnosis

Oral cancer can be treated, however, treatment is much more successful when the disease is caught early. This is one reason why bi-annual visits to your dentist in Doylestown are so important. You see, unlike other types of cancer, there are no official timing guidelines for screening for oral cancer like there is for, say, colon or breast cancer. Your regular dental visits essentially act as regular oral cancer screenings. These checkups allow your dental team to identify any potential signs of oral cancer early so that you can get treatment fast.

Oral Cancer Signs & Symptoms

One thing that can make oral cancer difficult to diagnose is that its signs and symptoms can disguise themselves as common oral health problems that don’t seem like a big deal. However, you’re better safe than sorry… so if you notice any of the signs below, call your dentist as soon as you can.

  • A sore or discoloration that doesn’t go away
  • A lump inside the mouth or neck
  • Pain while swallowing, chewing, or speaking
  • Changes in voice
  • Chronic bad breath

Risk Factors

Even though oral cancer can happen to anyone, there are some people who may be at increased risk including:

  • Those over 55
  • Current or former tobacco users
  • Heavy drinkers

Oral cancer is a very serious disease. Reduce your risk by changing any risky habits and commit to seeing your dentist every six months. Of course, if you suspect you’re at risk for oral cancer, or are concerned by any potential signs, we welcome you to call our Doylestown dental office.