Posts for: October, 2016
People who’ve lost all their teeth have benefitted from a solution that’s been around for generations: removable dentures. These appliances have helped millions of people chew and eat food, speak, and smile confidently.
But for all their benefits (including affordability) there’s still some things you need to do to get the most out of them like cleaning them daily or having us check them regularly for damage and wear. And, there’s one thing you shouldn’t do: wear them around the clock. Not removing them when you sleep at night can harm your oral health and reduce your dentures’ longevity.
Dentures are fitted to rest on the gums and the bony ridges that once held your natural teeth. This exerts pressure on the underlying bone that can cause it to gradually dissolve (resorb). This loss in bone volume eventually loosens your denture’s fit. If you’re wearing them all the time, the process progresses faster than if you took them out each night.
The under surfaces of dentures are also a prime breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Besides unpleasant odors and irritation, these microorganisms are also the primary cause for dental disease. Research has found that people who sleep in their dentures have higher occurrences of plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food remnants that cause periodontal (gum) disease. They’re also more prone to higher levels of yeast and the protein interleukin-6 in the blood, which can trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body.
To avoid these and other unpleasant outcomes, you should develop a few important habits: remove and rinse your dentures after eating; brush them at least once a day with dish or anti-bacterial soap or a denture cleanser (not toothpaste, which can be too abrasive); and take them out when you sleep and place them in water or an alkaline peroxide-based solution.
Be sure you also brush your gums and tongue with an extra soft toothbrush (not your denture brush) or wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth. This will help reduce the level of bacteria in the mouth.
Taking these steps, especially removing dentures while you sleep, will greatly enhance your well-being. Your dentures will last longer and your mouth will be healthier.
Even though you weren’t born with the perfect smile it doesn’t mean that you can’t still achieve it with cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic dentistry has become such a popular option for so many people looking to improve their smiles. Maybe you’ve been mulling around the idea of getting cosmetic dentistry in Burlington, MA, but you aren’t quite sure which treatment is the right choice for you. Our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Paul David Epstein, is here to help! Here are just some of our popular treatment options and what they could do for you:
If you want to get fast, effective whitening treatment that brightens your smile in just one session then you’ll want to talk to our Burlington, MA dentist about whether professional whitening is right for you. This is a great option that allows patients to get teeth several shades whiter in just a single one-hour whitening session.
Cosmetic Contouring and Reshaping
If you notice that teeth aren’t completely even or that one tooth is longer than others then contouring and reshaping may be right for you. We will remove enamel from teeth to help reshape and even out your teeth so that they all look more uniform.
Dental bonding often goes hand-in-hand with cosmetic contouring. Using the same tooth-colored resin that we do to fill a tooth after a cavity, we apply and mold it over certain cracks, chips, stains and even small gaps between teeth to mask imperfections. This is another cosmetic treatment that is non-invasive and doesn’t require needles or drills (unless, of course we are treating a cavity).
For patients looking to hide more serious imperfections that dental bonding can’t treat our Burlington, MA cosmetic dentist may recommend dental veneers, thin porcelain shells that we adhere to the front of your teeth to cover problem areas and to improve the overall color and shape of your smile. Getting veneers only takes about two visits and they are designed to be your new smile for a long time with proper care.
Have questions about cosmetic dentistry? Interested in one of our great dental treatments? Then it’s time you called Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C. in Burlington, MA today to schedule your cosmetic consultation.
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…