Posts for: February, 2020
Tooth sensitivity can be disheartening: you’re always on your guard with what you eat or drink, and perhaps you’ve even given up on favorite foods or beverages.
The most common cause for this painful sensitivity is dentin exposure caused by receding gums. Dentin contains tiny open structures called tubules that transmit changes in temperature or pressure to the nerves in the pulp, which in turn signal pain to the brain. The enamel that covers the dentin, along with the gum tissues, creates a barrier between the environment and dentin to prevent it from becoming over-stimulated.
Due to such causes as aggressive over-brushing or periodontal (gum) disease, the gum tissues can recede from the teeth. This exposes portions of the dentin not covered by enamel to the effects of hot or cold. The result is an over-stimulation of the dentin when encountering normal environmental conditions.
So, what can be done to relieve painful tooth sensitivity? Here are 3 ways to stop or minimize the symptoms.
Change your brushing habits. As mentioned, brushing too hard and/or too often can contribute to gum recession. The whole purpose of brushing (and flossing) is to remove bacterial plaque that’s built up on tooth surfaces; a gentle action with a soft brush is sufficient. Anything more than two brushings a day is usually too much — you should also avoid brushing just after consuming acidic foods or liquids to give saliva time to neutralize acid and restore minerals to the enamel.
Include fluoride in your dental care. Fluoride has been proven to strengthen enamel. Be sure, then, to use toothpastes and other hygiene products that contain fluoride. With severe sensitivity you may also benefit from a fluoride varnish applied by a dentist to your teeth that not only strengthens enamel but also provides a barrier to exposed dentin.
Seek treatment for dental disease. Tooth sensitivity is often linked to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Treating dental disease may include plaque removal, gum surgery to restore receded gums, a filling to remove decay or root canal therapy when the decay gets to the tooth pulp. These treatments could all have an effect on reducing or ending your tooth sensitivity.
If you would like more information on the causes and treatments for sensitive teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Sensitivity.”
If you're like most Americans, you'd like to have a whiter smile. In Eau Claire, WI, Dr. Christopher Poss helps many people achieve this goal through professional teeth whitening. Performed in the dental chair, whitening brightens yellow, shabby smiles by several shades of color at a time—read on to learn more.
The value of a smile
Your oral health is priceless, as is your smile appearance. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) says the vast majority of people react positively to a white, attractive smile. The opposite is true, as well: a dingy, defective smile harms both your self-esteem and professional/social relationships. What can you do to increase the impact of your smile?
Dollar for dollar, professional teeth whitening provides the most impact. In his Eau Claire, WI, office, Dr. Poss offers whitening to individuals who have healthy gums and teeth (no decay or gum disease), as well as sensible expectations for the results.
It's so easy
Once you are qualified through oral examination, your whitening treatment will take about an hour to complete. Dr. Poss installs a plastic dam to protect your lips and tongue from the concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel.
Over the next hour, you'll sit comfortably in the dental chair. The gel is applied one or more times, rinsed off, and re-done as needed. After the last application, you'll notice your smile is whiter by several shades—a breath-taking change.
Keep it dazzling
Most stains come from tobacco, dark beverages, such as coffee, tea, cola, or sports drinks, and plaque build-up from dark foods, such as curry, soy sauce, and berries of all kinds. So, to keep your newly whitened smile bright, limit your consumption of dark foods and drinks, rinse and brush after you consume them, and see Dr. Poss twice a year. His in-office exams and cleanings, combined with whitening touch-ups as needed, help you flash a fabulous smile indefinitely.
A no-hassle smile
Let Dr. Christopher Poss and his team give you the smile of your dreams. Call his office in Eau Claire, WI, today to set up your consultation: (715) 833-2223.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends adults, teens, and children receive in-office dental check-ups and cleanings every six months. Here in Eau Claire, WI, your dentist, Dr. Christopher Poss, sees the value in this preventive service and so will you. Learn more about keeping your teeth and gums healthy for life.
What happens during a regular dental visit
These appointments are incredibly simple, yet effective, steps to keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. This is because oral health problems are best treated in their earliest stages when they are small, uncomplicated, and inexpensive.
Each visit starts with a hygienic cleaning. During this step, your hygienist will scale your teeth with small handheld instruments, removing the sticky plaque deposits and hard calculus (tartar) which are inroads for decay and gum disease.
Following this, she'll measure your gum pockets and check the condition of any fillings, crowns, or other restorations. Digital X-rays are also often taken to examine your bone structure, assess dental alignment, and look for hidden decay.
Accordingly, Dr. Poss will review your medical history and prescriptions and ask you about any areas of concern. He'll inspect your teeth and gums carefully for any irregularities, including:
- Poor dental bite
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Oral cancer
- Failing or missing restorations
After your exam, Dr. Poss will present a treatment plan customized to your needs. He'll address any immediate problems and also recommend ways to improve your at-home care and reach your cosmetic goals.
A word on oral cancer
At our Eau Claire, office, your dentist and his team are on the front lines in the war against oral cancer. The Oral Cancer Foundation says that about 53,000 Americans receive this cancer diagnosis annually. Undetected, oral cancer can be deadly. However, when found early, survival rates soar.
Dr. Poss visually inspects all your soft oral tissues, including under the tongue and at the back of the throat. He palpates or feels, the lymph nodes in your neck, as well. This check-up is quite simple, and when performed regularly, it yields invaluable information.
Your routine examination
Please contact your dentist, Dr. Christopher Poss, for a routine exam and cleaning in his Eau Claire office. You'll be so glad you did. A healthy smile is invaluable. Phone us at (715) 833-2223.
An incomplete smile damages more biting and chewing. It can harm your personal appearance and self-confidence. Want to keep your smile whole? Ask Eau Claire, WI, dentist, Dr. Christopher Poss, about dental implants, today's premium tooth replacement option.
The miracle of the dental implant
Dental implants replace missing teeth from roots to crown. Composed of a titanium implant screw, a metal alloy abutment and a realistic porcelain crown, the dental implant looks, feels and acts real. Plus, it improves the health and strength of your jaw bone as it actually resides in the empty tooth socket.
In fact, every time you exert pressure on your implant, you exercise your jaw bone, just as a natural tooth does. So, your underlying bone keeps its shape, and so do your facial features.
Receiving dental implants
Once you're qualified through a dental exam and X-rays, Dr. Poss will place your implant.
Once in your jaw, the titanium implant and bone bond through something called osseointegration. In just weeks, your implant will be ready for its crown. You'll return to Dr. Poss's Eau Claire office where he'll attach the post and crown, completing the dental implant procedure and your rejuvenated smile.
Caring for dental implants
Dental implants feature roughened surfaces which facilitate osseointegration. Thankfully, this bond is sure and strong; however, patients must take care to keep it that way by:
- Brushing with a soft toothbrush twice a day
- Flossing carefully daily with both strand floss and interproximal brushes
- Getting six-month cleanings and check-ups with Dr. Poss
- Wearing a custom bite guard to counter habitual teeth clenching or grinding
Also, a tobacco-free lifestyle benefits your systemic and oral health. Smoking can cause an infection called peri-implantitis. It resembles gum disease and can loosen implants and even necessitate removal.
Get that smile back
Dr. Christopher Poss offers preventive, restorative and cosmetic dental services tailored to your individual needs and preferences. If you've lost teeth to accident, gum disease, decay or other problem, don't worry. This experienced dentist can help. Call his office team in Eau Claire, WI, for a dental implant consultation. You'll be very glad you did.
Besides their life-likeness, implants are also prized for their high success rate. More than ninety-five percent of implants continue to function effectively after ten years.
Implants’ advanced technology explains some of their reliability and longevity—they’re as close to natural teeth as we’re now able to achieve. But their impressive success rate also owes to the detailed protocols that dentists follow to install them. One critical part of these protocols is ensuring a patient has enough bone in their jaw to support and precisely situate the implant for the best functional and aesthetic outcome.
Unfortunately, there are situations where a patient doesn’t have enough bone to achieve a satisfactory result. This often happens if there’s been months or years between losing the tooth and considering an implant. The reason why relates to the nature of bone as living tissue.
Like other cellular tissues in the body, bone has a life cycle: Older, worn-out cells die and are absorbed by the body, and new cells form to replace them. The growth cycle in the jaw receives stimulation from the forces generated when we chew, which travel up through the teeth to the bone.
However, this stimulation stops after tooth loss for the related area of bone, which can slow new bone growth. Over time, the volume and density of the bone around a missing tooth gradually decreases, enough eventually to make an implant impractical.
Insufficient bone volume, though, doesn’t necessarily mean an implant is out of the question. We may be able to address the problem by attempting to regenerate the bone through grafting. This is a procedure in which we insert graft material into the affected area of the jawbone. The graft then becomes a scaffold upon which bone cells can grow. After several months, we may have enough regenerated bone to support an implant.
If there’s been too much bone loss, we may still need to consider another form of restoration. But if we can successfully build up the bone around your missing tooth, this premier restoration for replacing lost teeth could become a reality for you.