Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What to do for a broken tooth or knocked out tooth

You have a chipped tooth, cracked tooth, fractured tooth, broken tooth, displaced or knocked out tooth. What do you do?

First, How Serious is the Injury?

Trauma to the face may result in an injury as slight as a small chipping of tooth enamel (the outermost layer of a tooth) to one as severe as completely knocking a tooth out of it’s socket and/or fracturing the jawbone(s).
If your broken, fractured, chipped or cracked tooth is the result of trauma to your head or face and it is accompanied by bleeding from the nose or ears, loss of memory or consciousness, dizziness, disorientation, severe head or ear ache or if your teeth do not fit together properly after the trauma, go to a hospital emergency room for evaluation immediately. You may have injured your brain, caused bleeding inside of your skull, broken your TMJ (jaw joint), jawbone or other bones of your face. For this you will need immediate, emergency medical care. Most hospitals have an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon available to diagnose and treat your injuries in addition to emergency room physicians.
Fortunately, most injuries are much less severe. Broken teeth – chipped teeth, fractured teeth, cracked teeth – and loosened or knocked out teeth are classified into the following basic types (listed in order of severity):
  1. Crown Fractures (The part of the tooth above the gumline)
    1. Enamel
      1. Craze Line(s) – Cracked enamel without loss of tooth structure
      2. Chipped Tooth – Cracked and fractured enamel involving loss of this outermost layer of tooth structure
    2. Enamel and Dentin – Fracture and exposure of the outer and middle layers
    3. Enamel, Dentin and Pulp – Fracture and exposure of the outer, middle and inner layers
  2. Root Fractures (The part of the tooth below the gumline)
    1. Horizontal – A horizontal crack in the tooth root
    2. Vertical – a vertical crack in the tooth root
  3. Displaced or loosened teeth within the tooth socket (Where the tooth sits inside your jaw)
    1. Concussion – The tooth has absorbed the force of the injury
    2. Displacement – The tooth has become dislocated in it’s socket
    3. Avulsion – The tooth has been released from it’s socket
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dental Concerns for Adults Under 40

Dental Concerns for Adults Under 40

Gum Disease

Gum Disease is an inflammation of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. If it is severe, it can destroy the tissue and bone, leading to tooth loss. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. When plaque is not removed it can harden into calculus (tartar). When tartar forms above and below the gumline, it becomes harder to brush and clean well between teeth. That buildup of plaque and tartar can harbor bacteria that lead to gum disease. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which is the only stage that is reversible.
If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of gum/periodontal disease called periodontitis. It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are so important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Brush twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, often occurs unconsciously while you sleep. It can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw. Although it is often considered to be stress-related, teeth grinding can also be caused by sleep disorders. Your dentist’s choice of treatment will depend on the cause of your grinding, but you may be fitted with a mouthguard to protect your teeth while you sleep.


The temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, are among the more complex joints in your body. Any problem that prevents the TMJ from working properly may result in a painful disorder, also referred to as TMJ disorders or sometimes TMD. The exact cause of a TMJ disorder is often unclear, but possible causes can include arthritis, dislocation, injury and/or problems related to alignment or teeth grinding from stress.
Symptoms can include:
  • pain in or around the ear
  • tenderness of the jaw
  • clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
  • headaches
If you’re regularly experiencing facial or jaw pain, see your dentist. Exercise, muscle relaxants or physical therapy may help.

Root Canals

Sometimes a cavity is just too deep to be fixed and may require a root canal. Root canal procedures are used to treat problems of the tooth's soft core, otherwise known as dental pulp. The pulp contains the blood vessels and the nerves of the tooth, which run like a thread down into the root. The pulp tissue can die when it’s infected or injured. If you don't remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. During a root canal treatment, the dentist removes the pulp, and the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Your dentist may then place a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger and protect it.

Sensitive teeth

If hot or cold foods make you wince, you may have a common dental problem—sensitive teeth. Sensitivity in your teeth can happen for several reasons, including:
  • tooth decay (cavities)
  • fractured teeth
  • worn fillings
  • worn tooth enamel
  • exposed tooth root
  • gum disease
Sensitive teeth can be treated. Your dentist may recommend desensitizing toothpaste or an alternative treatment based on the cause of your sensitivity. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing tooth pain. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.


At some point, you may consider tooth whitening to help brighten your smile. Before using whitening products, talk to your dentist to determine the most appropriate treatment for you and if your teeth and gums are healthy enough to undergo a whitening procedure. This is especially important if you have fillings, crowns and/or extremely dark stains on your teeth.
Some popular whitening methods include:
  • In-office bleaching. A bleaching agent is applied to teeth and a light may be used to enhance the action of the agent. In-office bleaching products typically contain a higher percentage of peroxide than at-home formulations. The procedure is usually completed in less than two hours.
  • At-home bleaching. Peroxide-containing whiteners that bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a custom mouth tray. The bleaching trays are worn for short periods of time over a few days to gradually whiten the teeth.
  • Whitening toothpastes. Although all toothpastes help remove surface stains “whitening”  They do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth like bleaching agents do.
For more information visit us at or you can make an appointment with our cosmetic dentist by calling our friendly staff at (305) 532-9114

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ten Fun, Odd, and Interesting Dental Facts!

The benefits of visiting your dentist on a regular basis should be obvious every morning when you look at yourself in the mirror. A healthy smile not only helps you look good, it can change your entire outlook for the day. To honor the marvels that are your smile, here are 10 dental facts centered on the greatness that is your mouth.
  1. The average American will spend close to 38.5 days brushing their teeth during their lifetime. Keep in mind it is recommended to brush your teeth for two minutes each brushing sessions, and most people brush their teeth twice a day. That time adds up quickly!
  2. Seventy-three percent of surveyed people would rather go to the grocery store than take a moment to floss. If you fall into this category, remember that flossing helps keep particles out from between your teeth. This aids in fighting off gum disease and bad breath!
  3. Just like your finger print is unique, your tongue print is unique to you as well.
  4. Those of you who drink carbonated beverages loaded with sugar have roughly 63% more tooth decay, cavities, tooth loss, and other dental problems. Cutting back your consumption of sugar filled drinks will easily prolong a healthy mouth.
  5. Remember to replace your toothbrush after you recover from a cold or flu. Cold germs like to camp out on your toothbrush. Therefore, when you feel better, replace your toothbrush.
  6. Why is it important to floss? There are more than 300 types of bacteria in dental plaque. You can reduce the buildup of plaque with regular dental visits followed up by proper brushing and flossing techniques.
  7. Every year, children in North America drop half a billion dollars on chewing gum. Make sure you are helping your kids choose sugarless gum!
  8. Newborn babies do not actually have tooth decay bacteria. They receive the bacteria from parents who kiss their children or blow on hot food.
  9. The first toothbrush to be manufactured with bristles was made in China in 1498. This brush contained the hair from hogs, horses, and badgers.
  10. Last, but not least, kids laugh roughly 400 times a day. You adults can only muster laughing just around 15 times a day. Go ahead and laugh from time to time. It’s good for you, your mood, and those around you!
We hope you learned a little something from this list. Remember, flossing is extremely important, sugar is Kryptonite to your teeth, and take time to laugh during the day. We look forward to seeing you for your regular dental check-up!