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Missing Tooth: Common Dental Emergencies

Missing Tooth

Missing Tooth | It’s never a bad idea to arm yourself with some knowledge in case you ever face a dental emergency. Having a severe toothache, getting a tooth chipped, or experiencing bleeding gums are common types of dental problems that most of us will face at some point in our lives. If it doesn’t happen to you, it may happen to a friend, relative or colleague. Regardless of who experiences a dental problem, you’ll need to know what to do until professional help is available.

Tooth Abscess

Experiencing a tooth abscess is something you’re not likely to forget, especially since it can lead to a missing tooth. This is a situation that usually involves intense pain due to an infection that reaches the dental pulp found at the heart of every tooth.

Some signs that you may have a tooth abscess include:missing tooth - woman with tooth pain

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Pain whenever you chew or bite
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
  • Severe toothache pain that can spread along the face, jaw, neck and ear

What To Do

If you experience any symptoms of a tooth abscess, see your dentist as soon as possible. This can prevent a missing tooth. If you have difficulty breathing, swallowing, or have facial swelling or fever, and your dentist is unavailable, immediately go to the emergency room.

You may be placed on antibiotics to resolve the infection. The abscess may be drained to relieve pressure on affected nerves. If the tooth can be restored, you may need a root canal procedure. Otherwise, the tooth may need extracting, resulting in a missing tooth.

Bleeding Gums

Two of the most common reasons why you may experience bleeding gums are mouth trauma and gum disease. If you have recently experienced trauma to your teeth or mouth that is accompanied by bleeding gums, you should consider this to be a dental emergency. Contact your dentist as soon as possible so that they can examine you and make sure that you do not have a problem like a fractured tooth.

Another possible cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease. If this is the case, you will likely experience bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth. Make an appointment with your dentist at your earliest convenience. Gingivitis can lead to tooth loss (missing tooth).

Missing Tooth

If you should lose a tooth during some type of accident, there are some steps that you need to take before you reach your dentist to ensure that you have the best chance of saving the tooth. Take the following steps and contact your dentist for an emergency appointment: 

  • Grasping the tooth only by its chewing surface, place it in a container of milk if available. If it is dirty, rinse it with water first. Never scrub the tooth or handle it by its root.
  • After you’ve rinsed the tooth off, you may attempt to place it back into its socket. Be sure to orient it as normal within the mouth. Gently bite down until it goes back into its socket, and see the dentist.

Although dental emergencies can be scary, most of them have good outcomes when they are handled correctly.

Just make sure that you exercise good common sense and contact our dental office as soon as possible to avoid a missing tooth.

Dental Implants Chelmsford: Do I Need Dental Implants?

Dental Implants Chelmsford

Dental Implants Chelmsford | Just because you qualify for a dental procedure does not necessarily mean that you should undergo it. Every patient is different. If you have a missing tooth, you may have started wondering what your treatment options are. You may have even narrowed down your choices and are searching Google for the search term “dentist near me.” Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to be grounded in solid information so that you make an informed decision.

Dental Implants

Dental implants Chelmsford are really a technological marvel. Millions of people with missing teeth have undergone this increasingly common procedure. The implant itself is installed in three stages and consists of three components: a metal screw made of titanium, an abutment, and a crown that serves as a chewing surface.

 Dental Implant Benefits

  • Offers the look, feel, and function of a natural tooth
  • Direct implantation within the jawbone to prevent slippage
  • When cared for correctly, should last for the rest of your life

dental implants chelmsford | man smiling

Implant Procedure

Getting an implant involves a few dental appointments. After you have been cleared for the procedure at your consultation, you will have the first component placed right into your jawbone. Your dentist will place a titanium metal post into your jaw, firmly anchoring it so that it will not slip as dentures are prone to do.

You’ll need to wait a few months between your first and second appointment while your jawbone is busy fusing around your implant. Once this process is complete, your dentist will place the abutment part of the structure onto the implanted metal post.

Finally, at your final appointment, they will cap the entire structure with a dental crown, which is the part of the abutment that is visible above the gum line. The crown will allow you to bite and chew your food with normal force.

Bone Graft Procedures

One unfortunate aspect of having a missing tooth is that your jawbone will begin melting away as time passes. Known as resorption, this can leave you with insufficient bone mass to support dental implants Chelmsford. If this is the case, you may be able to undergo a bone graft procedure to shore up the area.

A bone graft procedure involves the placement of some donor bone into the area that will be receiving an implant. Of course, needing a bone graft means that there will be some additional time and expense involved.

Dental Implant Aftercare

Once you’ve received your new dental implant, no special care is needed. But it is very important that you maintain proper oral hygiene at home, which means brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Even though dental implants Chelmsford are extremely strong, they can still be undermined by periodontal disease just as natural teeth can.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you would like to learn if you’d make a good candidate to receive a dental implant, you’ll need to schedule a consultation. New patients are welcome!

Tooth Sensitivity: Common Dental Problems

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity |Having dental problems is no fun, but fortunately most of them can be prevented easily. Everyday activities like brushing twice daily, flossing each day, getting nutritious food, as well as keeping up with your regular dental checkups, go a long way in helping to prevent troublesome dental problems like tooth sensitivity, gum disease and bad breath. 

Gum Disease

Also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease, gum disease is a chronic infection caused by the buildup of plaque in the mouth. This is an extremely common condition among adults.

Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Tender or painful gums
  • Sores present on the gums
  • Gums that bleed easily and frequently

The best way to prevent gum disease and even tooth sensitivity is to brush at least twice daily and floss your teeth once a day.

You should also be keeping up with your regular dental exam and cleaning appointments so that your dental hygienist can remove plaque from on and around your teeth before it hardens into tartar. 

tooth sensitivity - man with tooth pain

Bad Breath

Bad breath is something that, if you have it, you may not even realize. Try cupping your hand over your mouth and nose, and breathe in. It’s always better to find out this way than to have someone else tell you. In most cases, bad breath is caused by improper oral hygiene. So this is a reminder to get back on track with daily brushing and flossing. In other cases, bad breath may indicate a more serious condition.

Bad breath is one of the symptoms of gum disease, which is a serious condition that can eventually cause teeth to loosen and even fall out. If you are experiencing chronic bad breath along with other symptoms like tender and bleeding gums, you owe it to yourself to make an appointment with the dentist to get it checked out.

If you have bad breath, it’s probably a good idea to step up your oral hygiene game at home. Make sure that you’re brushing and flossing regularly. It can also help to brush your tongue, which can often harbor oral bacteria that cause bad breath.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity usually occurs because the tooth enamel has worn away. This could be caused by problems like cavities, receding gums or teeth grinding. Your teeth can also become sensitive following a teeth whitening treatment. If this is the case, it should resolve itself in a few days. In the meantime, you can use a toothpaste designed for tooth sensitivity.

One common cause of tooth sensitivity is teeth grinding, which can occur at night while you are sleeping so that you are unaware of it. If your tooth sensitivity is accompanied by sore jaw muscles or clicking jaw joints, you may have a condition called TMJ. Make an appointment with the dentist to get it checked out.

Tooth sensitivity can also be caused by the foods and beverages that you are consuming. For example, some soft drinks are highly acidic, which can strip away tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity. Some citrus fruits are also highly acidic. So you might try cutting back on foods like pineapples, lemons, or foods high in vinegar to see if that helps.

Schedule Your Appointment

Common dental problems like tooth sensitivity should be addressed. Contact our dentist to learn more! New patients are welcome.

Dental Exam: October Is National Dental Hygiene Month

Dental Exam 

Dental Exam | Nothing keeps your teeth healthy, shiny, and white more than practicing proper dental hygiene. We think it’s so important that we are celebrating it for the entire month of October as National Dental Hygiene Month.

This is the time to appreciate healthy and attractive teeth and mouths, as well as celebrating the hard work of your dental hygienist in helping you keep them that way.

dental exam | patient flossing teeth | chelmsford dentist

Fittingly, the most appropriate way to celebrate Dental Hygiene Month is to “brush up” on the basics of proper dental hygiene, including:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice daily
  • Flossing on a daily basis
  • Using a good fluoride mouthwash
  • Staying hydrated and keeping your mouth fresh by drinking plenty of water

Fluoride Treatments

One way to acknowledge National Dental Hygiene Month is to undergo a professional fluoride treatment. This involves the application of high fluoride concentrations to your teeth to minimize the chances of developing cavities.

Treatment with fluoride can be provided by a dentist or dental hygienist. This type of treatment may come in a number of forms, like gels, solutions, foams and varnishes.

A professional fluoride treatment involves the use of fluoride in a much higher concentration than you would find in over-the-counter toothpastes or mouthwashes. It should only take a few minutes to complete, and all you need to do to is to avoid eating food or drinking beverages for about an hour after your treatment so that the fluoride is completely absorbed by your teeth.

Daily Flossing

Another way to get with the spirit of National Dental Hygiene Month is to make sure that you are flossing your teeth every day. This is extremely helpful in removing plaque that can accumulate between the teeth, potentially causing cavities or gum disease. Most people do their flossing in combination with toothbrushing.

Dental Cleaning Appointments

You may think that you’re doing everything perfectly at home with your oral hygiene. But it’s always possible for plaque to hide in areas that are not as visible or easy to reach. A dental cleaning appointment helps to ensure that all plaque is removed from your teeth to help prevent gum disease.

Your dental hygienist will use special dental tools to scrape away and remove accumulated plaque from your teeth and around your gum line. Assuming you are getting your teeth cleaned regularly, it should not take that long to complete. Your hygienist will also thoroughly polish your teeth for a silky smooth finish.

Importance of Dental Exams

Many patients are operating under the false belief that their cleaning efforts alone guarantee that they will not develop tooth decay or gum disease. Although you are brushing and flossing at home is the first line of defense against these common dental problems, it is not always enough.

Plaque is quite sneaky. When it first forms, it can be colorless and undetectable. It can also develop in out-of-the-way places that may not be so obvious to you.

There are also other types of dental problems that may escape your attention. Your dental hygienist provides a comprehensive dental exam so that no problems are missed. By keeping up with your dental exam and cleaning appointments, you are giving yourself your best chance to tackle problems before they become larger, more expensive ones.

Schedule Your Appointment

Have you been putting off your routine dental exams? To help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease, we strongly encourage you to contact our office to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning. New patients are welcome.

 

Chelmsford Dentists: What Are Dental Exams and Cleanings?

Chelmsford Dentists

Chelmsford Dentists | Dental exams and cleanings are the first line of defense that your Chelmsford dentists use to protect you and your family from tooth decay and gum disease. Unfortunately, these types of appointments are frequently neglected by patients, particularly in today’s challenging times. Patients don’t realize the harm that can happen by postponing these vital dental visits. Let’s take a look at the importance of dental exams and cleanings so that you can protect your teeth and gums to prevent unnecessary dental work in the future.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Before looking into dental exams and cleanings. It may be helpful to understand why you need them in the first place. As mentioned earlier, the primary goal of these necessary Chelmsford dentists visits is to protect you from tooth decay and gum disease.

Tooth decay is caused by the presence of oral bacteria that are always present in the mouth. If you let up on your regular brushing and flossing, or put off needed dental exams and cleanings, bacteria can really take a toll on your mouth by creating acidic substances that damage tooth enamel.

Chelmsford Dentists | Woman lying on dentist chair.

Damaged tooth enamel can allow the entry of bacteria further into the dentin layer of the teeth. From there, it’s just a short hop to the dental pulp. Inflamed or infected pulp can be extremely painful. This requires a procedure like a root canal treatment, or even a tooth extraction.

Gum disease is a chronic condition that can, left untreated, result in the eventual loss of teeth by undermining the gums and bone that support them. Plaque is a sticky substance that can build up on the teeth, leading to the formation of tartar – a hardened form of plaque. At this stage, only your dental team can remove it.

The danger of plaque is that it eventually leads to an inflammatory condition of the gums. In its early form, called gingivitis, gum disease can be reversed. But if it develops further into periodontitis, the condition becomes irreversible. At that point, you would need constant treatment to prevent the loss of teeth.

Dental Exams and Cleanings

The importance of dental exams and cleanings is that they allow your Chelmsford dentists a chance to remove any plaque or tartar that they may find. Your dental hygienist will use their training and specialized dental tools to scrape away plaque and tartar during your cleaning appointment.

Dental exams usually takes place before a dental cleaning. Unless you have some ongoing situation that was previously known about. Your dental hygienist will be checking for problems like oral cancer, gum disease and tooth decay. If any abnormalities are noted, your Chelmsford dentists can be called in to take a closer look.

Benefits of Dental Exams and Cleanings

  • Prevents tooth decay and gum disease
  • Removes plaque and tartar
  • Polishes the teeth to help brighten your smile

Schedule Your Appointment

Has it been awhile since your last dental exam and cleaning appointment? If so, contact Chelmsford dentists today at (978) 250-0079 to book an appointment and get back on track with these important dental visits to protect your teeth and gums from tooth decay and gum disease.

 

Chelmsford Dentistry: What To Expect During Your First Dental Visit

Chelmsford Dentistry

Chelmsford Dentistry | We find that patients are more comfortable when they are informed in advance about needed treatments and appointments, such as going to their first dental visit. This guide should allow you to understand what will happen at this important appointment with your dentist and dental team.

To begin, you will be escorted to a treatment room for a review of your dental and medical history. This is a good time to share any dental health concerns or questions that you may have.

Your dental assistant will take x-rays of your teeth and mouth for a review by your dentist at your Chelmsford dentistry.

Chelmsford Dentistry | Happy patient at dentist.

Comprehensive Dental Exam

New patients will visit the dentist to undergo a comprehensive dental exam. Your dentist will go over your health history. Chelmsford dentistry may take your blood pressure to ensure that you are in sound health.

The dental x-rays will be reviewed, and you may also undergo an oral cancer screening, which is recommended annually. Oral cancer is a serious disease that is actually quite treatable when detected early, emphasizing the importance of this initial visit.

A first dental visit can take up to one hour so that your dental team can spot any signs of trouble like cavities or gum disease. Depending upon the results of your examination, Chelmsford dentistry may formulate an individual treatment plan for you and go over your treatment options.

Dental Cleaning

You may also receive a dental cleaning at your first dental appointment. The purpose is to remove any plaque or tartar from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky material that forms from oral bacteria. It can inflame and infect the gums, leading to periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease. Once it hardens, plaque becomes very difficult to remove. Now known as tartar, it is only removable by a dental specialist.

Your dental hygienist will scrape away all plaque and tartar from your teeth. This helps prevent the development of gum disease.

If you already have gum disease, you may undergo a somewhat different type of dental cleaning that also involves checking the depth of your gum pockets and cleaning plaque from around the gum line.

What happens next?

In addition, after reviewing your individual treatment plan with your dentist. A member of the Chelmsford dentistry will speak with you to allow for the scheduling of any needed follow-up appointments. As well as go over payment options and answer any questions that you may have about insurance coverage.

For any needed dental service, you will be given a comprehensive cost and insurance coverage breakdown. We want to make sure that you receive the dental care that you need as quickly and as comfortably as possible.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If this will be your first visit with our Chelmsford dentistry, we would love to hear from you to schedule it as soon as possible. Please contact us today at (978) 250-0079 to schedule your first dental visit. Subsequent dental exam and cleaning appointments can also be conveniently scheduled at this time.

Chelmsford Dentist: Proper At-Home Dental Care

Chelmsford Dentist

Chelmsford Dentist | The first line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease is actually the responsibility of the patient. The battle takes place at your home. Unless you have some kind of mouth trauma or serious underlying medical problem, you should be able to preserve the health of your teeth and gums by regularly brushing and flossing, as well as eating a healthy, nutritious diet. For this reason, proper at-home dental care cannot be left to chance. Developing good habits is essential. Learn more below and contact our Chelmsford dentist today.

Fast facts on teeth and gum health:

  • Teeth are composed primarily of minerals.
  • Plaque is a sticky biofilm containing bacteria that damage teeth and gums.
  • Smoking is a major risk factor for developing gum disease.
chelmsford dentist | family brushing teeth

Brushing Your Teeth

Everyone knows that brushing their teeth at home is the best way to prevent tooth decay, but not everyone knows how to get the most out of this important daily practice. According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, you should brush for at least two minutes twice per day.  Your Chelmsford dentist may recommend additional brushing depending on your unique needs.Use only a soft or medium-bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging your tooth enamel. It is also important to maintain a 45° angle when using your toothbrush. The angle is relative to your gum line.The motion of your toothbrush is also important. Use a gentle, circular motion when brushing your teeth and avoid scrubbing or sawing motions.It is helpful to periodically brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove any bacteria that may be hiding there. And if you are unable to brush your teeth after a snack or meal, such as when you are away from home, you can still rinse your mouth out with water to remove much of the food debris that would otherwise feed oral bacteria that causes tooth decay. Don’t let it get a head start.You should replace your toothbrush every three months at a minimum, as well as following any illness.

Flossing Your Teeth

It is important that you floss your teeth daily to remove plaque and food particles in hard-to-reach areas that your toothbrush may miss. One key area to look for is the tight spaces between your teeth and the area under your gum line. These are areas that are susceptible to the formation of plaque that can harden and turn into tartar.By failing to regularly floss your teeth, plaque and tartar can accumulate that cause cavities and gum disease.

Watching Your Diet

Watching your diet is more than about just maintaining a healthy weight. Certain foods and beverages are known to contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Sugar is definitely the biggest culprit here. That is because oral bacteria use sugars to produce acids that destroy tooth enamel. So try to limit your consumption of sugary candies, sodas, cookies and chocolate.

Contact Us

Our Chelmsford dentist provides dental consultations to existing and new patients. Learn more by contacting our office today.