Archive for March, 2013

Tooth Enamel: What causes eroding?

The tooth’s enamel is one of the hardest materials in the human body, and it protects the sensitive inner structures of the tooth. Although the enamel is quite sturdy, it can still wear away, potentially exposing the tooth’s core to infection and other types of damage. Tooth erosion is linked with decay, so it’s an important concern for your dentist.

You can be on the lookout for signs of enamel erosion, including sensitivity, yellowing of the teeth – which occurs when the dentin underneath the enamel becomes more visible – and pitting of the teeth. If you see any of these symptoms, bring them to the attention of your dentist.

A number of factors can lead to tooth erosion, including the following:

  • Excessive consumption of soft drinks or highly acidic foods
  • Eating lots of sugary snacks (which gives a food source to bacteria that leave behind acid as a metabolic byproduct)
  • Acid reflux disease and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Eating disorders like bulimia
  • A lack of adequate saliva to clear away bacteria and counteract any acids that may be present in the mouth.

Other conditions may lead to tooth erosion, such as bruxism and an overly aggressive brushing technique. Some patients may have a genetic predisposition to weaker enamel and may be more susceptible to erosion.

If you’ve noticed signs of tooth enamel erosion, your dentist can give you tips to avoid any further damage. Drinking sodas through a straw helps to limit the enamel’s direct exposure to acids, for example. Fluoride treatments can also help to strengthen teeth and make them more resistant to erosion.

You may also need to re-evaluate some of your dietary habits or get treatments for medical or dental problems like GERD or bruxism to limit tooth erosion.

The body has no mechanisms for generating new enamel, so the damage caused by tooth erosion is permanent. Your only recourse is to seek restorative treatment, like a filling or a crown depending on the extent of the damage.

For additional information and to schedule your next visit, contact the office of Dr. Paul Lounsberry today.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

Tips to Prepare for Dental Implant Placement

If you are planning to get dental implants, you’re undoubtedly excited about the chance to restore your smile. When facing any surgical procedure, even a routine one, it’s important to prepare in advance. Doing so will help to minimize negative outcomes.

First, you should know what to expect from the procedure. For most patients, it will take just a few hours and be completed in an outpatient setting.

Patients without enough bone material at the implant site may need to undergo a preliminary bone graft prior to getting dental implants, and this may need to be completed several months in advance to allow sufficient time for healing.

You’ll also want to ask your dentist about what you need to do in the hours immediately preceding your dental implant placement appointment. You may need to fast after midnight if you are planning to have IV sedation. You’ll also need to recruit a responsible adult to escort you home from the appointment. By the next day, though, most patients are ready to return to work or school.

Speaking of going home, it’s also wise to prepare a plan for your aftercare at home. This step will help you to reduce your chances of infection and other complications that could compromise your implants. You may be able to manage any discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, but if necessary, the dentist can give you a prescription for a stronger medication if need be.

Adequate oral hygiene is important to limit the presence of bacteria that could potentially cause post-surgical infection. You should be able to pick up your ordinary oral care routine the day after your surgery, although you may need to be a little gentler with your technique at the implant site.

Patients who smoke should be prepared to give up that habit for at least a few days, as it can interfere with the healing process. Know the signs of a problem, like ongoing heavy bleeding for more than 24 hours or a fever, so that you’ll recognize when you need to call the dentist for help.

You are making a significant investment in your dental implants, so do everything you can to ensure success. If you are adequately prepared for the dental implant placement procedure, the whole process should go much more smoothly.

Contact our skilled team at Balcones Family Dental to learn more about the dental implant procedure. Call 512-200-7422 to schedule an appointment today.

Posted in: dental implants

Leave a Comment (0) →