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Woman in dentist’s chair grabbing jaw from pain from an abscessed tooth

What Should You Know About an Abscessed Tooth?

An abscessed tooth involves a pocket of pus forming in a part of the tooth as a result of a bacterial infection. The pain can be moderate to severe, and sometimes radiates to a person’s ear(s) or neck.

Pain

If you have a throbbing pain near a tooth or in your gums, and that pain came on suddenly and seems to be getting worse over time, you might have an abscessed tooth. What are some other signs of this kind of tooth problem? If you have pain radiating to your ear(s), jaw or neck, or pain that gets worse when you lie down, you might have an abscessed tooth. If you have facial redness/swelling, or swollen/red gums, those are other possible signs. When you chew or bite, if there’s pain, that’s yet another sign. And then there are plenty of others: tooth sensitivity, bad breath, a foul taste in your mouth, tender/swollen lymph nodes in your neck, and/or a fever… These are all red flags.

Should an abscess rupture on its own, you’ll feel relief immediately. You’ll also notice a bad taste in your mouth as the pus drains out.

Relief

If you suspect you have an abscessed tooth, or aren’t too sure “what’s going on,” see a dentist at Brockport Dental. Whether it has ruptured or not, get the area professionally checked and cleaned. You don’t want an infection to spread, so it’s important to have a dentist intervene– and you might even need to go to the emergency room if the tooth is associated with facial swelling, high fever, difficulty swallowing and a rapid heart rate.

For more info about abscessed teeth, contact Brockport Dental at 585-636-0555. Brockport Dental is located at 1000 Transit Way #200 in Brockport, New York. To schedule an appointment, see this page.

Periodontal Disease

Things to Know About Periodontal Disease

How healthy is your mouth? Do you experience bleeding gums? Do you have bad breath? If so, you might have periodontal disease. If you’re not familiar with the term periodontal, it basically means teeth, and, more specifically, periodontal disease involves the infection of the gums around teeth as well as the cementum that covers the root, as well as the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. The beginning stages of periodontal disease is called “gingivitis,” which is an infection that’s only affecting the gums.

How Can You Get Periodontal Disease?

How does a person get periodontal disease? Basically, it’s caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Your body tries to get rid of this bacteria, so it releases a substance that inflames the gums and surrounding areas. When this happens, you’ll notice swollen gums that may bleed, especially if you brush them too hard or awkwardly floss.

Besides plaque build-up, other causes of periodontal disease can include hormonal changes in life (puberty, menopause, etc.), as well as illnesses like cancer or HIV, and taking certain medications which decreases saliva production and may lead to increased bacteria growth. Smoking is also a problem for the teeth and gums, as well as not properly brushing and flossing.

If you suspect gingivitis or periodontal disease, get a dental exam at Brockport Dental. The dentist will look for things like receding gums, formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums, changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down, etc. Treatment plans are dependent on the stage of the disease; Early detection is important. There are certain toothpastes you can use to calm down the problem of gingivitis/periodontal disease.

Call Brockport Dental at 585-636-0555 to schedule your appointment today! Brockport Dental offers personalized dental care. We believe in preventative care and educating people about dental health. Best of all, we’re committed to safety, especially during these pandemic times. Don’t hesitate to call today.

Closeup of Dental X-Rays

The Importance of Dental X-Rays

The fictional but beloved comic book hero Superman might make a great dentist– after all, he has several powers including X-ray vision. If only humans had the power of X-ray vision, it would allow dentists to just look at a person and see details of what’s going on inside their mouths, seeing places and structures not normally visible to the naked eye.

Detection of Decay and Disease

Alas, humans don’t have X-ray vision capability– but they do have X-ray machines. And dental X-rays are important because they allow dentists to have more information that can benefit a patient. For instance, X-rays help detect decay or diseases that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

A Complete Picture

If a dentist wants to be able to see between and inside a patient’s teeth, he or she can utilize X-rays, which help give them a “whole picture” of what’s going on. Not only do X-rays show the condition of teeth, but also their roots, a person’s jaw placement, and their facial bone composition. X-rays can be used to find and treat issues before they become more serious or advanced.

A Snapshot of Changes

Specifically, X-rays can show abscesses, cysts, tumors, and decay, as well as bone loss and the position of teeth relative to things like implants. Dentists use bitewing, periapical and panoramic X-rays to “see” into and under teeth, etc. X-rays may be taken every couple months or years, depending on the patient and what the dentist thinks is best for him or her. It’s neat to be able to have X-rays taken over time, to see how one’s teeth were, how they currently are, and how they might be in the future.

A Special Offer From Brockport Dental

In Brockport, New York, you can get a free dental exam and X-ray service at Brockport Dental. Regularly valued at over $200, this freebie is to help introduce brand new patients to Brockport Dental (some restrictions apply). Take advantage of this offer, here.

Woman Feeling Tooth Pain

Will I Need My Tooth Extracted?

No one wants their tooth extracted, but sometimes you have to have it done. When teeth have trauma issues, or they’re crowded or diseased, you might need a tooth extraction.

Reasons for Tooth Extraction

One of the main reasons someone might come to Brockport Dental and get a tooth extracted is because they’re experiencing overcrowding– there’s simply not enough space in your mouth the way teeth are currently arranged so one or more need to come out. This is especially true when you’re young and plan on getting braces to straighten your teeth. Oftentimes, for instance, people will have their wisdom teeth removed in order to make room for the rest of the teeth to line-up nicely. Furthermore, there’s the issue of impaction, which is the inability of the teeth to grow out of the gums. This is painful, and relief comes from having the impacted tooth extracted.

What about periodontal infections? If you have an infection on your teeth and gums, you might need to have a tooth extracted if the situation doesn’t respond to medication. If and when a tooth’s root is damaged, then extraction is imminent.

If a tooth is damaged by trauma or disease, it may need to come out. Say you play a sport and get hit by a puck or ball and it messes with your tooth such that it’s “barely hanging on.” That one might need to come out.

How do you know if you might need a tooth extraction? Do you have severe tooth pain and aggravated pressure that worsens when you chew? Do you have jaw pain and stiffness, which could indicate an infection or damage? Are your gums infected? See a dentist at Brockport Dental if you have any of these issues.

If and when you do get a tooth extracted, know that it’s a fairly simple procedure and there are various sedation options available. Healing takes a couple weeks.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Brockport Dental at 585-636-0555.

Dentist check young patient's teeth

Tips for Finding the Right Family Dentist

Are you looking for a dentist? What are some tips for choosing the right dentist?

Proximity and Availability

First, consider where you live. Ideally, you want a dentist who is nearby, such that you can get to their office quickly. It’s better to have a dentist within a 15 minute drive than one that’s an hour away from where you live.

Next, you want to consider their hours. Are they open and available at times that work for you? Do they offer emergency service if needed? If you have a tooth emergency,

Personality Fit

Also, do you like your potential new dentist? Do they have a personality you can handle and like? They should be approachable and friendly enough that you feel free to share your concerns with them. Ideally, you want to make sure there’s open communication and conversations. They should explain what they want to do to your mouth so you understand what’s happening… and you should feel free to ask questions.

Affordability

Of course, there’s always the issue of money. Are their fees affordable for you? If you have dental insurance, do they take it? Are they “in-network” and accept your insurance?

Modern Technology

Finally, is their office modern with today’s technology or does it look like it hasn’t been updated since the 1980s? A lot of people, especially younger people, want to go to a dentist who is very up-to-date with technology and can make their experience as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Different dentists have different approaches– so it’s a good idea to actually visit a couple offices in your area and see what they look like and how they operate before you settle on “your dentist.”

In the Brockport area, you should come visit Brockport Dental! Our office is located at 1000 Transit Way, #200 in Brockport, NY. Call us at 585-636-0555 for directions or more information. Our office is open Mondays through Thursdays, and we have extended hours on Wednesdays for your convenience.

If you’re  new to our office, you can fill out new patient forms online if you’d like to save time.

dentist

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger? How Brushing Too Hard Isn’t Good For Your Oral Health

Here you are reading a dentist’s blog, so we think it’s safe to assume you care about your teeth. That’s great news, because we care about them, too. Did you know that 25% of Americans actively shy away from smiling because of the condition of their teeth/mouth? That statistic doesn’t make us smile at all.

Many people are content with rarely (sometimes never) going to the dentist, which we don’t recommend. Now, we do trust that you know how to take care of your teeth and mouth, but sometimes oral care routines become so, well, routine that it’s easy to let vigilance slip. One strangely common practice that we’ve seen more of in recent years is people brushing too hard. Some might assume this problem to be more common in children who haven’t quite grasped the gentle dexterity needed to effectively handle a toothbrush, but adults are equally guilty and it stems back to a simple thought pattern: the more vigorous the brush, the cleaner the teeth. We can assure you this isn’t the case and we’ve compiled some reasons you’ll likely hear in your next dental exam.

Teeth are hard, not invincible

One of the more common complaints in dentistry is sensitive teeth. While sensitivity to cold or hot beverages is relatively commonplace, a reason we’re seeing this happen is people brushing so hard they’re stripping the enamel from their own teeth. Enamel is your teeth’s body armor, it protects them. Neither plaque nor tartar buildup is more resilient than enamel, so if this is happening, it’s time to reduce your brushing intensity by several notches.

Your gums shouldn’t be scared of you

Gum recession is another part of oral health that contributes to tooth sensitivity caused by brushing overly hard. If you’re brushing hard enough to strip enamel from your teeth, think about how the delicate skin in your gums is taking that. Some light bleeding happens when brushing your teeth, but doing it too hard will see excessive bleeding and eventual recession of the gum line. Your gums protect your teeth, so when they recede, more of your teeth are exposed, hence the sensitivity. This can lead to periodontal complications (gum disease) we’re certain you want no part of.

Ease it up

There are simple ways to keep yourself from doing this: soft bristle brush, fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash, and focusing on using less elbow grease while brushing. Hold your toothbrush like a paintbrush, not like a hammer. Massage around gumline as well as on the teeth. Don’t treat your mouth like you’re riding into medieval battle, give it the pampering your sparkling smile deserves and relax.

Oh, you might’ve thought we’d forget, but you still have to floss.

3 Tips For Getting Ready to See the Dentist

dental exam

Our teeth perform essential functions for our bodies. They help us speak, they help us eat, and they help us with non-verbal communication as well. Without our pearly whites, where would we be? This is why it is so important that we take very good care of our teeth.

Roughly 32% of individuals say that they are “concerned by the look of their teeth.” These people, and anyone who is not concerned as well, need to make sure they are regularly getting dental exams. Dental services are available to ensure that our teeth are always in the best condition possible. Taking a trip to the family dentist can be nerve-wracking to some, but being prepared can make those fears vanish. Here are three ways to prepare for your trip to the dentist so that it goes smoothly.

Be Honest With the Dentist

No one likes to admit when they are falling short of their hygiene goals, but it is important to tell your dentist the truth. They will be unable to adequately service you if they don’t know what you’re struggling with or where you can improve. You should also be transparent about your history during your dental exam, like if you have experience with a variety of health or periodontal issues.

Brush and Floss

When you know that you have a dental appointment coming up, you should be brushing your teeth like a champ. Changing up your brushing technique may also be helpful to get your teeth as clean as possible. Brushing is not enough to keep your mouth squeaky clean, however. It is important to floss, too. Floss helps you extract things from your teeth that your brush cannot get to.

Chew Gum

This one might sound kind of weird, but chewing gum is actually helpful. Sugar-free gum can help stop plaque in its tracks by significantly slowing down its buildup on your teeth. Chewing gum is a great substitute in between meals when you cannot get your hands on a toothbrush. It also can give you nice fresh breath right before your appointment.

Regular dental exams are necessary for all so that your teeth can remain in good health. To prepare for your visit to the dentist, make sure you are adequately brushing your teeth, flossing regularly, and chewing sugar-free gum between meals. Last, but not least, be honest with your dentist!

Why Are My Teeth So Yellow? 4 Reasons It Could Be Happening

going to the dentistHave you noticed that your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be? In group photos with your friends, you can’t stop staring at your not-so-white teeth. You’re going to the dentist, and every time they tell you that your teeth are yellowing. Why is this happening to you? Here are four common reasons why your teeth might be yellowing.

Your Diet
What you eat can actually have a huge impact on your teeth, and not just their health. There are certain foods that can cause discoloration in your teeth. Things like coffee, red wine, soda, and even certain fruits and vegetables can yellow your teeth. Tobacco products can darken your teeth over time as well.

Poor Hygiene
This one might be obvious, but not taking proper care of your teeth can cause them to yellow. If you are not flossing, brushing, and rinsing on a regular basis, you’re putting yourself at risk for yellow teeth. This has a lot to do with your diet as well, because the staining foods you are consuming are not being cleaned off of your teeth.

Illness or Disease
This one is less common, but it happens. There are illnesses and diseases out there that can cause decay of tooth enamel and dentin, which is the underlying material of enamel. Web MD says, “head and neck radiation and chemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration. In addition, certain infections in pregnant mothers can cause tooth discoloration in the infant by affecting enamel development.”

Medication
There are several different types of medications that can cause tooth discoloration. Antibiotics like doxycycline and tetracycline, antihistamines like Benadryl, and antipsychotic medications can all stain your teeth. Even mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can cause teeth to yellow.

What do you do about yellowing teeth? Going to the dentist for teeth whitening is the best solution. In fact, 82.5% of patients who got their teeth whitened at the dentist said they had a noticeable difference. If you feel like your teeth aren’t as white as you want them to be, visit your family dentist today to talk about getting your teeth whitened.

5 Foods You Didn’t Know Are Terrible For Your Teeth

teethFrom the time we are young, we are told what is “healthy” and what is “unhealthy” for our bodies. The same thing goes for our teeth. We all already have conceptions of what we’re not supposed to eat to keep our dental hygiene as pristine as possible.

Candy, chocolate, and sugar are just some examples of foods that we know are not good for our teeth. Going to the dentist regularly can educate anyone on the most well known foods, drinks, and substances that cause poor dental hygiene.

That being said, there are actually plenty of foods out there that you would have no idea are harming your teeth. The surprising part is that these foods are all typically perceived as “healthy” foods by the general public. According to The Health Line, here are five foods that are bad for your teeth, and many of them are shocking.

  1. Bread: When you eat bread, the starches are broken down into sugar by your saliva. In fact, many types of bread now contain high fructose corn syrup and other forms of sugar. Bread easily gets stuck in between your teeth, so all that sugar is now sticking to the nooks and crannies in your mouth. The Health Line advises you to stick to whole wheat breads that contain fewer sugars.
  2. Alcohol: Drinking alcohol actually dries out your mouth, which can be very problematic because our saliva does a lot to protect our teeth. With a dry mouth, your saliva can’t do its job properly.
  3. Ice: Ice, really? Ice is just frozen water, how can that be bad for your teeth? It’s not the ice itself, but rather chewing on the ice that is harmful. The Health Line tells us that chewing on hard substances can damage your tooth enamel, which can lead to a whole array of dental problems.
  4. Citrus: There are many healthy and nutritious components to citrus fruits for your body. However, while your body craves Vitamin C, citrus fruits are not always so kind to your teeth. The acid in citrus can erode tooth enamel, which, as mentioned previously, can be a slippery slope to many other dental issues.
  5. Dried Fruits: How can dried fruits be anything but good for you? Well, they’re sticky. Just like bread, they get stuck in the crevices of your teeth and leave behind a lot of sugar. Brushing or rinsing out your mouth after eating these snacks can allow you to still enjoy them without the potentially harmful effects.

How many of these foods do you consume without thinking twice because you know them to be “healthy?” In adults aged 30 years and older, 47.2% of them have some form of periodontal disease. This is probably associated with the fact that people are eating these seemingly healthy foods, not knowing they are bad for their teeth and gums.

If you are concerned about the condition of your teeth, make sure to visit your family dentist, take advantage of their dental services, and to get your teeth looked at twice a year.

Why Are Regular Dental Exams so Important?

dentistryIt’s not uncommon for people to fear the world of dentistry. In fact, people avoid going to the dentist for a variety of reasons. This may be due to their fear of pain, the sounds of the drill and other dentistry tools, or even just because they’re looking to save money by not going. However, people often fail to see the importance of regular dental exams. To help you better understand why regular dental exams are so important, let’s take a look at what exactly goes on during a visit to the dentist.

Checking for tooth decay is just one aspect of a dental examination. During your appointment, your dentist will take a thorough look at your gums, perform a head and neck examination, and examine the remainder of your mouth. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that there are several routine aspects of a dental examination.

During the head and neck examination, your dentist will start off by:

  • Examining your neck
  • Examining your face
  • Checking your lower jaw joints
  • Checking your lymph nodes

This part of the examination allows your dentist to check for anything out of the ordinary.

Next, your dentist will perform the clinical dental examination. This may involve:

  • Examining your gums
  • Looking for signs of gum disease and other illnesses or issues
  • Checking for loose or broken teeth
  • Checking your bite
  • Examining the insides of your mouth, including your tongue
  • Checking for damaged fillings
  • Taking x-rays

Typically, a dental hygienist will perform a thorough tooth and gum cleaning either before or after this examination. While people may think that the cleaning is the only thing that’s done at a dentist appointment, it’s important to understand that there’s so much more that is done.

Visiting the dentist on a regular basis allows your dentist to not only ensure your teeth are healthy but to also look for warning signs of any additional health problems. Research shows that there is a correlation between poor oral health and conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and premature or low birth rate. It’s important to remember that your oral health can have a big impact on your overall health.

Once the examination and cleaning are done, your dentist will discuss your dental health with you and make any recommendations about your oral care. It’s important to visit the dentist twice a year, even if you aren’t one of the 32% of people who say they are “concerned by the look of their teeth.” Even if your teeth look and feel fine, there may be underlying issues that can only be found with the use of dentistry equipment.

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