Are Your Teeth Sensitive to Heat or Cold? Here’s Why That Happens

If you’re like most people, you truly enjoy a nice cold dish of ice cream or a freshly scooped ice cream cone no matter what time of year it is. However, few things are more unpleasant than taking a big bite of your favorite ice cream and experiencing sudden tooth pain as a result. Or perhaps you love starting your day with a just-brewed cup of hot coffee but have lately been noticing that your teeth have become increasingly sensitive to hot temperatures. Millions of Americans experience this condition, and the good news is that it’s almost always treatable. Here’s why tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures happens and what you can do about it:

Tooth enamel wears down over time, and because it provides a protective cover for the interior of the teeth, tooth sensitivity can occur.

Cracks in the Surface of the Tooth Enamel

One of the most common reasons for tooth sensitivity is small cracks in the enamel that you may not have even noticed. These cracks allow hot and cold sensations to seep through the enamel to the underlying nerves.

Worn Enamel

Worn enamel is another possible culprit when tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures is a part of the picture. This is a normal part of aging and is usually mild.

What You Can Do for Tooth Sensitivity

Many people find they are able to get relief from minor tooth sensitivity by using an enamel-building toothpaste. Be sure to choose one that’s recommended by the American Dental Association, and ask your dentist to recommend one if you’re unsure of which one to use. You can also switch to a brand of toothpaste designed for use on sensitive teeth as well as use a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Should You See a Dentist

Tooth sensitivity that persists or that turns into pain means you’re due for a visit to your Sarasota dentist. This could be an indication that the inner pulp has somehow become infected. When this happens, the usual remedy is a root canal in Sarasota, FL. Fortunately, advances in modern dentistry mean that today’s root canal procedures are less uncomfortable than their counterparts of the past.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience for more information on dental health issues or to set up an appointment.

 

Implant Aftercare — Everything You Need to Know

Dental implants provide an excellent alternative to conventional dentures. However, patients sometimes make the mistake of thinking that because prosthetic teeth themselves don’t suffer from tooth decay like their natural counterparts, it’s safe to dial back on oral hygiene practices. It’s important for those who have implants installed to understand that best oral hygiene practices play a significant role in determining how long implants will last and even their overall success rate. Here’s what you need to know about taking care of your dental implants in Sarasota, FL:

Use a Non-Abrasive Toothpaste

Because materials used to manufacture prosthetic teeth aren’t quite as hard as natural tooth enamel, so you’ll want to use a non-abrasive toothpaste that’s formulated for use on prosthetic teeth to keep them from getting scratched. You can also purchase unwaxed dental floss for use on implants. Your dentist in Sarasota may also recommend that you use an oral irrigation system.

Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

Using a soft-bristled brush serves the same purpose as brushing with a low-abrasive toothpaste — it will help keep your prosthetic teeth from becoming unnecessarily scratched. To thoroughly clean hard-to-reach places, use a nylon-coated interdental brush.

Use an Antibacterial Rinse After Brushing and Flossing

Plaque buildup is the number one culprit when it comes to causing gum disease, and it occurs just as easily on prosthetic teeth as it does on natural ones, which is why it’s essential to continue practicing impeccable oral hygiene. The leading cause of gum disease is bacterial buildup in the mouth, so keep this to a minimum by using an antibacterial mouthwash after you finish brushing and flossing.

Avoid Hard Foods

Biting down on hard foods can damage prosthetic teeth, so avoid eating items such as hard candies and nuts. You should also avoid chewing on pencils and other items. These are often nervous habits that people engage in without even thinking about, so you may need to make a conscious effort not to do this.

See Your Dentist Every Six Months

Preventive dentistry is an essential component of making sure your implants last as long as possible — and with the proper care, implants can easily last the rest of your natural life.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at your convenience to schedule an appointment or for more information on keeping your smile healthy and beautiful.

Dental Care During Pregnancy | Big Questions Answered

Pregnancy affects your entire body, including your teeth. However, with so much excitement going on and preparation taking place, it is easy to allow your dental care to fall by the wayside. You may come across a few questions about your dental care while you are expecting. Find out what you need to know about taking care of your teeth during pregnancy.

Is it normal for your gums to bleed during pregnancy?

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can bring about a lot of undesirable changes, and one of those changes can be gums that are more tender and may bleed. If you see a little more pink on your toothbrush than usual when you are expecting, this is not something that should be alarming. However, if you are having a lot of pain and tenderness along with the extra blood, it is best to discuss your symptoms with your dentist.

Is routine dental treatment safe while you are pregnant?

Routine dental care is perfectly safe during pregnancy. According to AmericanPregnancy.org, the main concerns are doing x-rays and taking certain medications. For example, if you have to have a tooth extracted, the use of lidocaine may be necessary, which may cross the placenta and enter the baby’s bloodstream. While routine care like cleanings is fine, it is best to discuss the risks of any other treatments with your Sarasota dentist and possibly create a plan of care for after the baby is born.

Can poor oral health affect your growing baby?

Poor oral health can possibly affect your growing baby. For example, if you have a severely decayed tooth, you may be at risk of developing an infection, which would put both you and your baby at risk. Emergency treatment is often necessary to prevent any of your oral health issues from being a concern for your child.

Reach Out to Us for Dental health care During Pregnancy

Your oral health is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, and there is no reason to neglect your smile while anticipating a new bundle of joy. If you have questions about dental care during pregnancy, reach out to us at the office of Keneth Schweizer DDS PA in Sarasota, FL for advice.

Have Your Gums Started to Bleed? Here’s What You Need to Know About Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a common occurrence involving the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gum line area. The most prevalent sign of gingivitis is red, swollen gums that may be tender to the touch as well as bleed during brushing and flossing. Many people tend to become alarmed when they first notice that their gums are bleeding, with good reason — left untreated, gingivitis can evolve into full-blown periodontal disease, which can lead to loss of teeth and create serious health issues. Here’s what you need to know about gingivitis:

There Are Two Types of Gingivitis

The most common type of gingivitis is the type mentioned in the previous paragraph that is caused by plaque buildup in the mouth. The other type involves small lesions on the gum line and often caused by allergies or genetics. Your dentist in Sarasota will be able to tell you which type you have in order to formulate an effective course of treatment.

Gingivitis is Often Reversible

When caught in the early stages, gingivitis is almost always reversible with the right type of oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing twice per day, every day is essential if you want to win the war on gingivitis. Using a toothpaste designed for those with emerging gingivitis is also recommended as well using an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Some patients have reported success with at-home oral irrigation systems.

If Not Treated, Gingivitis Can Turn Into Periodontal Disease

As mentioned earlier, gingivitis turns into periodontal disease in time if it’s not treated. Periodontal disease can result in the loss of teeth and can also adversely affect cardiovascular health if allowed to reach advanced stages.

Risk Factors For Developing Gingivitis

Poor oral hygiene is the biggest risk factor when it comes to the development of gingivitis. It also tends to affect older adults in greater numbers as well as those who smoke, use alcohol, and don’t get enough vitamin C in their diet. Research suggests that there may be genetic factors as well, and those with diabetes and certain forms of cancer may be more prone to developing gingivitis than others.

Please contact us to schedule an examination if you’ve noticed bleeding gums or other potential signs of gingivitis or other dental disorders.

5 Tips to Prevent Stained Teeth

Stained teeth not only look unsightly; they also make you look older and can inhibit your self-confidence. Almost everyone experiences stained teeth at one time or another. However, some people have more problems with staining of the teeth than others. If you suffer from chronically stained teeth, chances are there’s something in your life that’s specifically leading to this condition. Here are four tips to prevent stained teeth.

1. Review Side Effects of Medication

Consider all the prescription medication that you take. Review the side effects of each one. There are many prescription medications that have stained teeth as a side effect. If you’re taking something that causes this condition and it’s serious enough to impact your self-confidence, ask your doctor if they can help. You may be able to use a different medication that doesn’t carry that particular side effect.

2. Quit Smoking

The tar and nicotine in tobacco products stain teeth and tongue as well as your fingers. Smoking is harmful to your health, but the teeth staining is also very harmful. Do what you can to stop smoking. The positive results on your health and your teeth will be well worth the effort.

3. Brush After Drinking Red Wine

Since red wine is made from grapes and red grapes cause a stain, it stands to reason you should avoid red wine because it will stain teeth. Consider switching to white wine. Otherwise, simply make it a habit to brush your teeth after having red wine to drink.

4. Brush Regularly

Surprisingly, simply brushing your teeth on a regular basis will also help to prevent stained teeth. Chances are that you’ve consumed something during the day that may lead to teeth staining. If you just make it a habit to brush frequently, the amount of staining will be lessened.

5. Use a Straw

If you’re super serious about avoiding stained teeth at all costs, use a straw when drinking things like iced tea and cranberry juice. The straw will ensure that the stain-inducing liquid will bypass your teeth, thereby preventing stains from occurring in the first place.

Finally, regular visits to your Sarasota FL Dentist are always recommended. Your dentist can thoroughly clean your teeth and remove any visible stains. Book your appointment today.

FAQs About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are one of the greatest weapons against tooth decay. Yet, many people are unclear about what dental sealants are and what they can accomplish. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about dental sealants.

1. What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants in Sarasota are comprised of a clear coating that is applied to the surface area of the teeth.

2. How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Dental sealants can last between two and four years, with gradually decreasing protection as time goes on.

3. Does It Hurt to Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a non-invasive treatment. There is zero pain or discomfort involved in the application. In fact, some patients say that the treatment is so fast and pain-free that they didn’t even realize when it was over.

4. How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Dental sealants are applied with a brush applicator. The dentist essentially “paints on” the dental sealant to each tooth.

5. Do Dental Sealants Discolor Teeth?

Some dental sealants dry clear. There is no visible sign that you have dental sealants on your teeth. You can also get white or slightly tinted dental sealants that brighten the appearance of the teeth. Even if you get tinted dental sealants, the appearance is completely natural and others will not know that you have dental sealants on your teeth.

6. Who Can Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are considered to be 100% safe and effective for people of all ages. Even children with baby teeth who have not yet gotten in their permanent teeth can get dental sealants. In fact, dental sealants are often recommended for children and teenagers specifically because of the amount of sugar they consume and the higher possibility for cavities.

7. Do Dental Sealants Change The Way Teeth Feel?

Dental sealants may make your teeth feel smoother. This is because dental sealants fill in pits and grooves in the teeth. This results in a smoother surface that can enhance the surface texture of the teeth.

8. Can Dental Sealants Be Reapplied?

Yes, you can have repeat treatments of dental sealants indefinitely, as long as your dentist recommends it.

For more information about dental sealants, and to find out if you are a good candidate for this preventative treatment, please consult with your dentist.

Do You Have Gum Disease? What To Know If You’re Pregnant

Dental care is important for everyone. But if you are pregnant, a healthy mouth takes on a whole new meaning. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gingivitis affects 60 to 75 percent of pregnancies. If you already have red, swollen, or irritated gums, look at the top pregnancy-periodontal disease questions answered.

What’s the Pregnancy-Periodontal Disease Link?

Pregnancy hormones are change-makers in your body. Along with mood swings, thicker hair, and dewy skin, hormones can increase blood flow to the gums. This can result in inflammation, irritation, sensitivity, and easy-to-bleed gums.

The hormonal changes of pregnancy can also change the body’s response to infections. Gum disease happens when bacteria overrun the mouth and cause an infection. Decreased ability to fight off bacteria can increase the risk of periodontal disease.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Do you have pregnancy-related gum disease? While some of the symptoms are noticeable, others may give you pause — but not complete concern. If your gums bleed once after you eat something sharp (such as a tortilla chip), you likely have an injury.

Even though this type of injury should heal on its own, you should pay extra attention to the area and call a medical provider at the first sign of infection. The increased blood flow to the gums and decreased ability to fight off bacteria may increase the chances that a simple scratch on your gums turns into something more serious.

Gum disease signs can range from minor beginning symptoms to severe red flags. Many periodontal disease patients experience redness, swelling, discomfort, and bleeding. If you notice blood when you brush, inflammation, or a foul taste in your mouth (with no other known cause) you may have gum disease.

When Should a Pregnant Women Visit the Dentist for Gum Disease?

A healthy mouth is part of a healthy pregnancy. This makes early detection and treatment of gum disease important. Pregnant women should continue to see their Sarasota dentist on a regular visit schedule. If you don’t have a visit scheduled during your pregnancy, make an appointment as soon as possible — especially if you have bleeding, irritation, or any other periodontal symptom.

Why Shouldn’t Pregnant Women Ignore Gum Disease?

No one should ignore periodontal disease symptoms. Gingivitis can progress into a serious infection that leads to tissue or bone loss. Without an adequate amount of healthy tissue or the proper bone support, you could lose a tooth. Likewise, tissue and bone loss/infection may make extraction necessary.

In pregnancy, gum disease can cause problems beyond oral issues. The infection increases the risk of pre-term birth or a low birth-weight baby.

How Can You Stop Gum Disease?

If you already have the symptoms of gum disease, you can make changes — and now. A 2018 study in the journal Advances in Preventative Medicine found that pregnant women who brushed less often had a higher likelihood of having poor birth outcomes than those who brushed more.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Make sure to brush all areas of the mouth, and floss to get the in-between spaces. Brush after meals, if possible, too.

Again, a visit to the dentist is necessary. Don’t wait to schedule an appointment. If you have concerns about caring for your gums before the appointment day, ask the dental office staff for recommendations. Gum disease patients may need to visit the dentist more often for professional cleanings or check-ups during pregnancy.

Are you pregnant? Are your gums inflamed, red, or irritated? Contact the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA, for more information.

3 Ways You Naturally Fight Cavity Formation

Your oral health depends a lot on what you eat and how well you keep up with oral hygiene. But did you know that your body also has quite a variety of natural defenses against cavities? Here are some of the ways your mouth works on a daily basis to fight against cavities forming in your teeth. Our Dentist in Sarasota, FL has more information below.

1. Producing Saliva

You’ve probably heard about saliva’s role in food digestion. It contains enzymes to help start to break down food even before you swallow. But did you know that saliva is also one of the biggest factors in protecting your teeth from cavities and repairing the daily wear and tear they experience?

For example, your saliva is full of minerals, which are carried to your tooth surfaces to help repair any softened enamel that occurs after you eat acidic, sugary, or high-carb foods. The bad bacteria in your mouth produce acids that leach the minerals out of your teeth. This process can lead to decay unless your saliva manages to reverse it by adding minerals back.
So how can you help? The first step is to drink lots of water on a daily basis so your body has plenty of moisture for producing saliva. The next step is to chew gum after meals, which helps your mouth release more saliva and helps swish the saliva all around your mouth.

2. Using Dentinal Fluid

You may have heard that your teeth have tiny dentinal tubules, which become exposed and cause sensitivity when your enamel wears thin. But did you know that these tubules actually have a great cavity-fighting function? They carry needed dentinal fluid containing substances such as nutrients to each tooth’s dentin layer.

However, this function only works properly if your diet is in good shape. That’s because a high-sugar diet can reduce the amount of parotid hormone produced and thus cause the fluid to stop flowing outwards. Then, bacteria and contaminants can invade the tubules, and the fluid with nutrients isn’t carried outward to all parts of the tooth.

So one of the best ways you can help out with this cavity-fighting function is to simply reduce the sugar and empty carbs in your diet. You may also need to work on stress management and make sure you’re getting enough exercise.

3. Fostering Beneficial Microbes

Your mouth is such a great place for bacteria to grow that you’ll never get rid of all the bacteria. Instead, your mouth makes use of beneficial bacteria to help reduce the effects of the bad ones. The more beneficial bacteria are living in your mouth, the fewer acid-producing bacteria will be able to find homes there.

You can help your mouth with this by using a mouthwash that only discourages the bad bacteria rather than carpet-bombing all the microbes in your mouth. For example, you can use an alkaline mouthwash, since bad bacteria love to grow in an acidic environment, and good bacteria tend to prefer a less acidic environment.

And if you want to take it a step further, you can work on getting more probiotic foods (foods that contain beneficial microbes) into your diet. Probiotic foods are foods such as kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut that have live active cultures in them.

If you don’t want to eat more of these types of foods (or can’t for medical reasons), you may consider looking into an oral probiotic supplement formulated to deliver beneficial bacteria to your mouth. Beneficial bacteria can help with a variety of issues, including gum disease and bad breath, and may even kill some of the bad bacteria.

These are just three methodologies that can help naturally fight against cavity formation. Aiding your body in keeping up these three natural processes, while simultaneously keeping up with your great oral hygiene, could lessen your chances of contracting tooth decay.
Whether you’re in need of fillings or looking for more advanced restorative work, call the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA today to schedule an appointment.

E-Cigarettes And Dental Health

E-cigarettes have grown in popularity. Even though vaping may seem like a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, these aerosol-producing pens, mods, and systems can still cause serious oral health issues. Whether you or a loved one vapes, look at what you need to know about e-cigarettes and how they can affect your mouth.

E-Cigarette Research

What does science have to say about vaping and oral health? As a newer form of smoking, research on the subject is still ongoing. Unlike the effects of tobacco-containing cigarettes, which have decades’ worth of research to back them up, the results of e-cigarette use are still somewhat unknown.

Even though research on vaping is still in its infancy, medical experts do agree that using any nicotine-containing product is unhealthy and dangerous. Current research into vaping does show that while it doesn’t have quite the same impact of using traditional tobacco-containing products, vaping comes with dental health risks. Read on to learn more about the potential problems that vaping can cause.

Oral Cancer Risk

Mouth cancers (cancers that occur on the lips or mostly anywhere in the mouth) have many different causes. Risk factors have traditionally included smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, using pipes or cigars, drinking large amounts of alcohol, exposing the body to the sun for large amounts of time, and getting the human papillomavirus.

However, along with regular cigarettes, smoking e-cigarettes can also put the user at an increased risk for oral cancers. The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health found that smokers who used non-cigarette products (including e-cigarettes) also had exposure to carcinogens.

Not only were non-cigarette users at risk, but the levels of carcinogens they had exposure to were often comparable to those of exclusive cigarette smokers. Exposure to carcinogens, such as those in cigarettes and e-cigarettes, can lead to cancers of the mouth.

Gum Damage

Along with raising the risk of developing oral cancer, e-cigarette use can lead to serious gum problems. Research published in Oncotarget found that e-cigarette use can contribute to gum tissue cell damage.

If you think that this type of damage is less than what a tobacco-containing cigarette would cause, think again. Nicotine-containing e-cigarette vapors have comparable gum-damaging properties as the traditional type of cigarette.

The gum cell damage that vaping can cause puts the user at an increased risk for periodontal infections. Periodontitis — a serious infection of the gum — destroys the soft tissue, potentially causing gum recession, tooth loss, or systemic infections.

Catching periodontal disease early is essential. A dentist’s diagnosis is necessary, as well as professional-level treatment. While stopping e-smoking can prevent future damage, this won’t reverse existing effects.

In some cases, depending on the extent of the gum damage, routine cleanings and care may promote gingival healing. Extensive damage may require root planning and scaling, gum flap surgery, or other similar treatments.

Oral Infections

While vaping itself doesn’t cause oral infections, it can reduce blood flow to the mouth area. Like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes also contain nicotine. Even though nicotine doesn’t contain teeth-staining tobacco, the nicotine ingredient can negatively impact the user’s body.

Nicotine’s effects on blood vessels can cause problems throughout the body. Along with potentially causing cardiac issues, the restricted blood flow to the mouth can make the area more susceptible to infections.

If the user isn’t willing to stop smoking e-cigarettes, the increased risk for infection requires proper routine dental care — including at-home care and regular dental visits. While this won’t eliminate the risk, this can help to reduce the likelihood of a bacterial invasion. Learn more about this from our Sarasota Dentists.

Do you vape? Does your teen, spouse, or loved one use e-cigarettes? If you or someone you love vapes, you need professional dental care to prevent or reverse damage. Contact Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA, for more information.

Are Your Teeth Appearing To Shrink?

While some patients feel that their permanent teeth are too large or too long, others are concerned about their smile falling on the other side of the size spectrum. You may grow in a relatively small set of teeth as a teen, which is apparently a natural step in our evolution, or you may notice your teeth seem to get smaller as you’re getting older.

The appearance of shrinking teeth may be caused by actual loss of tooth material or other changes in your mouth that simply make them look smaller. Your dentist in Sarasota is the only one who can determine what’s affecting your teeth.

Wear and Grinding

If the individual teeth are actually smaller than they once were, the problem is most likely physical wear. Jaw clenching and tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, is the most common culprit, but extremely weak teeth can slowly wear away just from normal chewing and brushing.

A diet high in acids and poor brushing and rinsing habits also accelerate wear on the teeth. Your dentist will take measurements over a course of time to understand the amount of damage you’ve experienced. Dental crowns and sealants can prevent further damage but only after the original bruxism or other cause of wear is addressed.

Natural Aging

Years and decades of chewing and repetitive forces change the appearance of the front teeth. By the time a person is in their 70s or 80s, the front teeth tend to look significantly shorter through either wear or a frontward tilt that makes an intact tooth appear smaller.

Many people lose some or all of their teeth by this age, so tooth loss isn’t a major concern as long as it’s primarily cosmetic. If a person’s ability to eat or speak is impaired, your dentist can remove the teeth and add implants to replace the most worn or tilted teeth and restore function quickly.

Gum Overgrowth

In younger patients and menopausal women alike, gum spreading and overgrowth is a common cause of teeth that suddenly look smaller and shorter without any wear or tear on the edges. Teeth turn translucent around the worn surfaces, so the problem may be the gums swelling or spreading and covering some of the tooth surface is signs of wear are missing.

Gum overgrowth is often triggered by an underlying infection or hormonal change. When gum growth has no distinct underlying cause, the dentist can remove the unnecessary gum tissue to restore the usual appearance of your teeth.

Orthodontic Treatment

Some people think that their teeth look smaller after having braces removed or other orthodontic treatments completed. In most cases, this is simply due to the patient getting used to the appearance of the extra hardware and forgetting the true size of their original teeth.

Removing parts of the braces, such as the wire attachment points, does require some minor abrasion and polishing of the teeth. The orthodontist may also need to polish some corners or edges to help teeth fit together properly in the end. All of these treatments leave you with slightly smaller teeth, although few patients can truly tell a difference in the end.

Tooth Reshaping

Finally, if you asked your dentist to shave down or reshape teeth you feel are too large, the result will definitely cause the appearance of shrinking. Your dentist has to add a veneer or crown to make teeth look bigger, so you and your dentist should make the right decisions before committing to any dental reshaping.

Schedule an appointment with our team here at Kenneth Schweizer, DDS, PA, to figure out if your teeth are shrinking or just look smaller. Regardless of the problem, we’ll help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful.