Family and Cosmetic Dentist - Livonia
31574 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
You floss your teeth then brush them until they're squeaky-clean, satisfied that your mouth is as clean and fresh as it can be. While you may have done the best job possible, have you ever stopped to think of how clean your actual toothbrush is?
First of all, when you brush, the plaque, bacteria and oral debris on your teeth are captured on your toothbrush. The next time you brush, some of those germs are reintroduced into your mouth. For this reason we highly recommend you replace your toothbrush if you have just battled a cold or flu.
Look at the space around your toothbrush too. Toothbrushes knocking together or being in close vicinity to other toothbrushes allow airborne bacteria to travel from toothbrush to toothbrush, opening up the possibility of infections such as periodontal (gum) disease and even the common cold being passed from one person to another.
Here's another thought that can turn even the most unconcerned of us into a germophobiac: Studies show that when you flush the toilet, polluted water vapor erupts out of the flushing toilet bowl and settles on nearby surfaces, which may include your toothbrush! Take a second to put the lid down on the toilet before you flush it next time, to help contain these germs.
The Academy of General Dentistry suggests that the best way to protect your toothbrush is to, after rinsing the bristles thoroughly and then shaking the excess moisture off the toothbrush, place a toothbrush cover over the toothbrush head. This will help cut down on the potential spread of bacteria from one toothbrush to another.
Finally, make a habit of greeting each new season with a new, soft-bristled toothbrush. If you need recommendations on the best type of toothbrush for your individual needs, please ask us the next time you're in.
Are you are experiencing a frequent clicking or popping sound in your jaw? If so, you may be in good company, with over 10 million North Americans who suffer from Temporomandibular Disorders, commonly referred to as TMD.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), located in the front of the ear, allows us to open and close our mouths and move our jaws all around so that we can talk, yawn, chew and swallow. If the jaw is damaged, or if a person grinds or clenches their teeth, they can sometimes trigger TMD. Unfortunately, the symptoms of TMD often resemble other conditions and, as such, it is difficult to diagnose. Nevertheless, let us know if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Let's talk about your click and pop, and see what we can do to help to lessen your discomfort.
Nature provides some interesting features in the mouths of both land and water beings. For example, did you know that elephant tusks are actually modified incisors? The visible part of the tooth arises from the upper jaw to form the familiar-looking tusk, while a quarter to a third of each tooth remains firmly embedded in the elephant's skull.
Sharks, on the other hand, have a much more disposable approach to teeth. They have about five rows of teeth on each of their upper and lower jaws that function somewhat like a conveyer belt. As one tooth is damaged or lost, a tooth in the next row replaces it. The sets of teeth rotate forward and new teeth continuously form in the rear.
Humans, once their "baby" teeth have been substituted with permanent ones, aren't as lucky as sharks when it comes to automatic tooth replacements. We are, however, fortunate that modern dentistry offers a variety of options that serve as the next best thing!
Options for replacing a missing tooth or teeth depend on a number of different factors, from quantity and location of missing teeth, to how healthy the patient's gums and jawbone are, to budgeting issues.
Please call us at 734-425-4530 to arrange for a full explanation of all your tooth replacement options, including one or a combination of the following:
We look forward to completing your smile!
If you're scheduled to have a tooth pulled, you need to be prepared not only for what the procedure itself involves, but also how to care for your mouth following the extraction.
Once you get home you may want to celebrate having the troublesome tooth out of your way, but be warned - this is not the time to have an alcoholic drink! In fact, avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours as it can encourage bleeding and delay healing. Be careful with all foods and drinks, especially hot ones, until the anesthetic wears off. You won't be able to feel heat properly and may burn or scald your mouth.
It is also very important to avoid smoking and drinking from a straw. Post extraction, a blood clot forms which is the beginning stage of healing. The sucking motion involved with smoking and drinking from a straw can dislodge the blood clot which leaves a dry socket. Dry sockets are areas of underlying bone and nerve left open and exposed. They can be very painful and most likely avoided if you take care of your mouth properly post surgery.
The first 24 hours after surgery is critical for the recovery of the affected area. Don't panic if there is some bleeding following the procedure. Avoid rinsing out your mouth for the first day, instead pressing a patch of clean gauze firmly on the bleeding socket and holding it for at least 15 minutes each time. Replace the gauze as necessary, and call us if the bleeding persists. Keep ice packs or even bags of frozen peas handy to apply to any swelling on your face. After the first 24 hours, rinse your mouth out twice a day with a glass of warm salt water to encourage the healing process.
While the tooth fairy may not be leaving any money under your pillow this time, getting rid of a diseased or damaged tooth will pay for itself many times over in improved dental comfort and health.
Sometimes it's hard to justify working a regular dental checkup into a busy schedule, so some people have been known to try and conduct some of the procedures, such as scaling their teeth, at home by themselves, often leading to disastrous results.
A dentist-supervised continuing care appointment includes scaling, to ensure that bacteria are removed from around and below the gum line, and polishing procedures to remove plaque, calculus and stains from teeth. If the calculus is not removed, it irritates and inflames the gums, ultimately leading to gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
While home-scaling devices are available in some drugstores, we ask our patients to be aware of the possible problems you may open yourself up to by trying to use this seemingly-simple tool at home. Users of the self-scaling system have been known to chip a tooth or the enamel from a tooth with them, gauge their roots and experience the possibility of gum abscesses if tartar is pushed under the gumline. Us dentists and hygienists are trained in the proper scaling procedure, and will ensure a safe and effective result using the professional tools and experience you deserve.