Posts Tagged ‘Dental care’


An abscessed tooth is an infection. An abscess can often include pus and swelling of the soft gum tissues that are surrounding the tooth. An abscess generally develops because of tooth decay or tooth trauma, such as a broken tooth. An opening in the enamel of a tooth, can also be created by a cavity. Either of these can allow bacteria to get into the center of the tooth. This can often cause an infection. The area inside the tooth essentially consists of “pulp” and it is soft and tender. Because of this, infection can cause a great deal of damage. This resulting damage is called an abscess of the tooth.

Once an abscess begins to occur, the infection can spread throughout the rest of the mouth and body. Usually, a root canal is the only option to save a tooth, once it has become abscessed. If you suspect that you might have an abscessed tooth, it’s important to go and see your dentist right away. The sooner this problem is treated, the more likely that potential damage can be minimized. The longer you wait for treatment, the more likely that the effects created by the abscess will have permanent consequences that cannot be reversed.

If an abscess causes the tooth to be severely decayed all the way into the nerve of the tooth, then a root canal is usually the only option to save the tooth. That is why it is so important to see your dentist, if you think you might be suffering from this problem. A root canal is a dental procedure that attempts to fix a tooth that cannot be filled or restored in any other way. The procedure is quite involved and extensive. Catching an abscess early can prevent you from ever needing a root canal. If you do require this procedure though, here’s what you can expect.

A root canal begins with the dentist numbing your tooth. It’s likely that they will use a rubber “dam” to keep the tooth area dry and free of saliva. A rubber dam is a piece of rubber that is designed to fit over the tooth and isolate it from the rest of the mouth. The dentist then needs to prepare the tooth by drilling and opening into the decayed area. After the dentist removes all the decay and bacteria from the upper area of the tooth, they will then have to focus their efforts down into the roots of the tooth. To do this, root canal files will need to be used. Root canal files are small instruments that are various sizes, so that they can fit deep down into the canals of the tooth. It is important that the files vary in diameter so that the different size roots can be thoroughly cleaned and the decay and infection located deep within the roots can be removed. After the decay and infection has been completely removed from the root system of the tooth, the dentist usually fills the canals that he has just cleaned with a rubber filling material called gutta percha. After the canals are filled with this rubber compound, a regular filling is placed in the tooth.

After a root canal procedure, a tooth can become dry, brittle and it can easily break. Because of this, a crown (cap) is usually placed on the tooth to properly restore it. The cost of a root canal generally averages about $800 and a crown, which is usually also required as part of the procedure, is going to cost about $900. Although the total price might seem expensive, the only other alternative to a root canal is the removal of the entire tooth. You can probably see now why it is so important to take care of your teeth in the first place. If you think you have an abscess, the sooner you can get into your dentist, the better.



If you’ve been told by your dentist that you should have one or more dental veneers applied to your teeth, or you are investigating the possibility yourself in a bid to improve the brightness and evenness of your smile, then it’s a good idea to first understand what they are, and then find out how they can alter your appearance. Dental veneers are a cosmetic enhancement to the appearance of your teeth as they can hide any cracks, misshapen teeth, cover thin tooth enamel and help remove excess spaces between teeth.

They are not a replacement tooth, but instead they are a thin, strong shell that is applied to your tooth, to give the appearance of perfection, leaving your own teeth to stay happily inside your mouth. The ceramics used today provide a natural looking tooth, as the material is slightly translucent and allows a little of the natural colour to seep though, giving a softer look than some of the vivid white ones in the past.

So what can dental veneers help you alter?

Our teeth are covered with a thin but hard layer called enamel that protects our teeth from external attacks. However this hard shell can become discoloured due to diet or hereditary factors, and become a little worn. These teeth can be renewed in appearance with a new strong shell applied.

Our teeth can develop natural cracks in them, depending on diet and hereditary factors as we age. We can also have chips and our teeth may become a little uneven and misshapen. If you are a tooth grinder, this can also wear down the enamel and cause your teeth to look uneven.

For some people it’s just a case of hereditary factors in how their teeth are spaced within their mouth. A large and obvious gap between teeth, particularly the front ones, can cause some people to become super self conscious about their smile and talking to people they don’t know. Changing the way these front teeth look to others can dramatically alter a person’s confidence when talking to strangers.

Because the dental veneer is bonded to your tooth, it can strengthen it and help protect it against further damage. It is designed to fit your tooth exactly, crafted by experienced technicians from a strong porcelain substance. While they do have a suggested lifetime, with proper care this can be extended, and still be in good working order for a long time to come. While you may be advised not to use that tooth to crunch on too many raw carrots, you’ll have a mouth of teeth that both look great and work as they were designed to.



With today’s appearance obsessed culture, it is not so weird that we are looking for ways to have our teeth whitened. Nobody likes to smile and reveal a dark, yellow, stained set of teeth. The practice of tooth bleaching has gained much popularity and it is here to stay. There are plenty of products available to bleach teeth.

The first whitening services started appearing over a decade ago. Since then, cheaper alternatives have entered the scene. Using an over the counter whitening kit, you can bleach your teeth the same way the dentist would’ve done it. There are also whitening toothpastes. But in all honesty, those are cheap and don’t deliver any results.

You can’t get significant whitening results unless you decide to go with something a little more impressive than a toothpaste or a mouthwash. You must use a product whose working is based on hydrogen peroxide to perform the bleaching. Anything less simply won’t get you results. But you can also develop the following side effects from hydrogen peroxide based products.

1. Tingling soft tissues. The tissues in the mouth and the throat are soft and sensitive. When they get in contact with any of the hydrogen peroxide that you may have swallowed, there is the risk that they will get irritated. You can also develop headaches and a sore throat.

2. Allergic swelling. When you are one of the unfortunate few to have an allergic reaction to any of the compounds in the whitening solution, you can expect to experience swelling of the soft tissues that have come in contact with the bleaching gel. This can be painful as well.

3. Irritation of the gums. When your gums get irritated, it’s because too much of the hydrogen peroxide got on the gums instead of on the teeth. Gums are sensitive, soft tissues. Keep the bleaching gel away from the gums. If they are irritated for long, they might also become painful.

4. Sensitivity of the teeth. If you use too much hydrogen peroxide or you use it for too long, you can permanently damage your tooth enamel. The enamel is the protection of the teeth and when it’s gone, it’s gone. The result will be permanently more painful and sensitive teeth.

Although the chances of you developing any of these side effects are small, there is still a chance that it will happen to you. The chances are greater that it will happen with an at home whitening kit, than when a professional whitening dentist is treating you.

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