Pregnancy is a time for women to take extra care of their bodies and to practice good oral hygiene. After eating, the sugars from foods form into an acid that attacks your tooth enamel and overtime, can result in tooth decay. Find out what are the best methods to take care of your teeth and maintain a healthy smile during your pregnancy
How to Clean a Toothbrush. Part of the series: Home Dental Care. Keeping your toothbrush clean is important and can be done by running it under peroxide, mouthwash or very hot water. Make sure your toothbrush stays clean with advice from a practicing dentist in this free video on home dental health.
I call this the 3-3-3 method for getting out of tooth pain fast, until you can see your dentist to do something about the toothache. Be sure to discuss with your doctor or dentist before you take ibuprofen (the generic name for Advil) and remember that tooth pain almost never goes away on its own -- if you're in pain, you'll have to see a dentist.
Inside our teeth is a dense network of nerves and blood vessels known as the pulp. When the pulp is irritated it can make our teeth one of the most sensitive parts of our body. This sensitivity means we may experience pain as a symptom of a cracked tooth.
A cracked tooth can be serious business. Ignoring the symptoms of a cracked tooth can lead to further dental problems down the road, including infection and even tooth loss.
Why Teeth Crack
Just like a chipped tooth, there are several reasons teeth crack. A strong tooth sometimes cracks because of an accident or a blow to the mouth. But more often than not, a tooth is weakened first before it eventually cracks.
As you age, your teeth weaken from the daily forces of chewing, biting, and grinding. In some cases, you might not even realize the exact moment in which your weakened tooth finally cracks.
Different Types of Cracked Teeth
There are actually several distinct types of cracked teeth. The way your dentist addresses your cracked tooth depends on which type of crack you have, its location in your mouth, and its severity.
The five types of cracked teeth are:
Craze lines: A shallow, hairline crack in the enamel of a tooth. Craze lines are common in adult teeth and don’t require treatment.
Fractured cusp: A crack in, and including, the chewing surface of a back tooth.
Cracked tooth: A crack extending from the chewing surface down toward the root. The tooth is still in one piece.
Split tooth: A tooth split into two separate parts.
Vertical root fracture: A crack in the root of a tooth.
Diagnosing a Cracked Tooth
It can be frustratingly difficult to locate and diagnose a cracked tooth. This is because cracked teeth may not be visible during a dental exam or show up on an x-ray. It also turns out that our brain is bad at locating the exact source of tooth pain within our mouth. Is the pain coming from the top teeth or the bottom teeth? Sometimes the brain just doesn’t know. As a result, cracked teeth can be confused with sinus pain, headaches or earaches.
To pinpoint the location of a cracked tooth, your dentist will have you bite down on a small item like a plastic stick or a wood dowel, one tooth at a time. He or she may also place a light directly on your tooth or use dark-colored dye to highlight fracture lines.
How to Fix a Cracked Tooth
Treating a symptomatic cracked tooth as soon as possible improves the chances of saving the tooth. Even if the crack in your tooth is small, it can expand with the pressure of biting and eating, eventually turning from a cracked tooth to a split tooth. If the crack in your tooth becomes large enough, it could become vulnerable to decay. If untreated, tooth decay can spread to the pulp and cause a larger infection, eventually leading to a dead tooth or even tooth loss.
How your dentist repairs your cracked tooth depends on the location and type of crack. Some don’t need repair, some might require filling the crack or place a crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage.
If a tooth splits, your dentist will need to remove part of the tooth and repair it with bonding, an onlay or a crown. If the split is severe, the tooth will need to be extracted.
Since there is a range of severity for cracked teeth, the best thing to do is call your dentist right away if you feel pain or suspect a cracked tooth. And of course, maintaining your healthy smile with twice annual oral exams can help your dentist diagnose a problematic crack before it becomes unmanageable.
You're never too old to improve your smile. With age, teeth sometimes become discolored, worn or chipped, or other damage may occur. Find out how treatment options like tooth whitening, veneers, tooth-colored fillings or dental implants can make your smile look years younger.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly half (47.2%) of American adults have mild to severe periodontal disease. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on your which attract harmful bacteria. It develops gradually over time and can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene and going in for routine dental exams. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bone loss, chronic bad breath (halitosis), and permanent tooth loss.
Glaucoma has been labeled as the “silent thief of sight,” and consists of a group of disorders which cause slow and irreversible loss of vision that can lead to blindness. OAG is the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for 90% of all glaucoma cases, per the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
Our eyes have small drainage canals that help regulate our eye pressure. OAG occurs when fluid drains too slowly from the eye and causes pressure to build up and, if left untreated, it can lead to blindness. Like periodontal disease, OAG develops gradually over time and can be prevented with routine eye exams.
Tips for preventing periodontal disease:
Brush for 2 minutes, twice a day;
Floss at least once a day;
Stay on top of your preventive dental visits;
Tips for preventing glaucoma:
Wear eye protection;
Know your family’s medical history;
Stay on top of your preventive eye visits;
Talk to your dentist to learn more about your risk for periodontal disease and how to prevent it. Visit your eye doctor to learn more about your risk for OAG and how to prevent it.