What to Do in a Dental Emergency
What to Do in a Dental Emergency

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Problems with your mouth or teeth can occur suddenly. You might be injured playing a sport, eating, or even just while doing a seemingly harmless activity. You should know what types of dental problems are considered emergencies, and what to do while waiting to see your dentist. Quick action can make a big difference in saving a tooth, or limiting damage to your mouth or face.

What is considered an emergency?

Not every dental problem must be treated as an emergency, but some do require professional treatment as soon as possible. This includes a broken or knocked out tooth, lost crowns and fillings, severe toothache, infection, and injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth.

What should I do?

See your dentist as soon as possible to treat the problem and prevent further damage. Here are some steps to take if you experience any of the following common dental emergencies:

  • Severe toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove trapped food.
  • Swelling – apply a cold compress on the outside of the swollen area. Do not place any painkiller or aspirin against your gums, because it can burn your gum tissue.
  • Chipped or broken tooth – if possible, save the piece that has broken off. Rinse both the piece and your mouth with warm water. If it is bleeding, hold gauze on the area. Apply a cold compress to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Lost filling – apply dental cement from your drugstore to fill the hollow area until you can see your dentist. Or, try placing a bit of sugarless gum into the area.
  • Lost crown –try to replace the crown on your tooth and hold it in place temporarily with dental cement, denture adhesive, or toothpaste.
  • Abscess – infections in your mouth can become abscessed, which is a serious condition. Rinse with warm salt water and see your dentist immediately.
  • Soft tissue injuries – treat damage to your gums, cheeks, tongue and lips by rinsing with warm salty water. Hold gauze to the specific area to control bleeding, and hold a cold pack to the external area.

Our dental office is located in Morehead City

Dental Implant Care Guidelines

Dental Implant Care Guidelines

Once you have had dental implants surgically placed, you will want to follow some important care tips to ensure their long-term success. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime, so it’s exceptionally important to adhere to the instructions provided by your dentist and guidelines like these:

  • Follow a vigilant routine of brushing and flossing thoroughly at least twice per day to eliminate the plaque that can cause periodontal disease, which is a leading cause of implant failure.
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  • Consult with your dentist about the type and use of special toothbrushes or oral irrigation devices that can help with the additional removal of food debris or plaque that builds up around the implant areas.
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  • Visit your dentist approximately every three months for the first year after implant surgery, and then every six months for the duration of your implants.
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  • If you are also wearing an implant supported denture, seek additional guidance from your dentist about the placement and removal of your denture to prevent damage to the implant.
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  • Refrain from applying excessive pressure or chewing on hard foods that could cause damage to the implant area. Patients who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) should consider being fitted for a night guard to protect the implants.

While the success rate of dental implants is high, implant failure can happen and normally results from infection, fracture, or damage to the nerves, teeth or blood vessels surrounding the implant. A successful implant patient who takes vigilant care of their teeth, gums, and implants can expect a full recovery and complication-free lifetime of beautiful, healthy smiles.

Our dental office is located in Morehead City

Look Out for Oral Cancer

Look Out for Oral Cancer

The word cancer strikes fear and dismay in most people, and it’s no different when the diagnosis is oral cancer. Nearly 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with this disease each year and about 8,000 succumb to it. You should know the risk factors and symptoms so that you can either avoid it completely, or catch it early enough that you’ll have the best chance of recovery.
Who is at risk?
Oral cancer is not contagious, but there are some activities that put you at higher risk for the disease. Both smoked and smokeless tobacco are linked to oral cancer, and the more you use tobacco the greater your risk becomes. Excessive alcohol consumption also increases your risk, and paired with tobacco use your risk is even higher. Sun exposure heightens your chances of developing cancer of the lip.

What are the symptoms?
Oral cancer patients may experience any of these signs of the disease:

  • A sore in the mouth or throat that bleeds often and doesn’t heal within two weeks
  • A thick area or lump in the cheek
  • Patches in your mouth or on your lips that are red, white, or a mixture of the two
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty wearing your dentures
  • A sore throat
  • Tongue or mouth numbness
  • Difficulty chewing, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • Earache

What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you notice any of these signs, visit your dentist right away to get screened for oral cancer. When diagnosed early, there is an 80 percent survival rate. Unfortunately many patients wait too long to see their dentist, and late-stage diagnosis is the reason for most oral cancer deaths.

Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office

The Right Diet for a Healthy Smile

The Right Diet for a Healthy Smile

Everyone knows that what you eat matters for your health. Your diet impacts your heart, weight, and other areas, including your oral health. Eating a balanced diet will keep your teeth and gums strong, which protects your smile.

These tips will help you make your diet count:

• Choose foods high in calcium. Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese offer you great sources of calcium, a mineral that helps your teeth and bones in good shape. Green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach also provide calcium.

• Limit sugar intake. Though a cookie or the occasional piece of chocolate won’t hurt your smile, eating too many sweets can contribute to cavities. It also important to watch your carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, and potatoes, because these foods may also increase the chance of tooth decay.

• Say no to sodas. Carbonated beverages contain phosphorous and carbonation, acidic substances that can cause enamel erosion. Because sports drinks have a high sugar content, you should limit those as well.

• Go for fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, and celery are good options because they are high in nutrients and won’t stick to your teeth.

• Cut back on snacks. When you eat between meals, the food stays on your teeth and can boost your risk for cavities.

• Drink plenty of water. Not only does water have fluoride to strengthen your teeth, but it also helps wash away food and plaque from your teeth.

• Chew sugarless gum. Studies have proven that chewing sugarless gum increases saliva production. Saliva naturally reduces plaque build up and rinses away food particles that encourage the development of tooth decay.

Everyone knows that what you eat matters for your health. Your diet impacts your heart, weight, and other areas, including your oral health. Eating a balanced diet will keep your teeth and gums strong, which protects your smile.

These tips will help you make your diet count:

• Choose foods high in calcium. Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese offer you great sources of calcium, a mineral that helps your teeth and bones in good shape. Green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach also provide calcium.

• Limit sugar intake. Though a cookie or the occasional piece of chocolate won’t hurt your smile, eating too many sweets can contribute to cavities. It also important to watch your carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, and potatoes, because these foods may also increase the chance of tooth decay.

• Say no to sodas. Carbonated beverages contain phosphorous and carbonation, acidic substances that can cause enamel erosion. Because sports drinks have a high sugar content, you should limit those as well.

• Go for fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, and celery are good options because they are high in nutrients and won’t stick to your teeth.

• Cut back on snacks. When you eat between meals, the food stays on your teeth and can boost your risk for cavities.

• Drink plenty of water. Not only does water have fluoride to strengthen your teeth, but it also helps wash away food and plaque from your teeth.

• Chew sugarless gum. Studies have proven that chewing sugarless gum increases saliva production. Saliva naturally reduces plaque build up and rinses away food particles that encourage the development of tooth decay.

At Brown, Reynolds & Snow Dentistry we care about your smile and your oral health. Richmond, VA Cosmetic Dentist

We look forward to seeing you in our Morehead City dental office

Dealing with Bad Breath

Dealing with Bad Breath

Though not considered life threatening, bad breath, or halitosis, can certainly have a dramatic impact on your life. Some people develop occasional bad breath when they eat foods like onions and garlic, or because of a head cold. In these cases, the problem usually resolves itself in a short time period. Unfortunately, bad breath can also be a chronic condition.

Usually, bad breath is caused by the food trapped in our mouths, which forms the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. These anaerobic bacteria give off waste products known as volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), the actual cause of the offending odors. The tongue is the most common location for the bacteria, although they can reside anywhere in the mouth.

Certain conditions, as well as lifestyle choices, can increase the odds of developing bad breath. Excessive smoking and drinking can produce halitosis. Allergies, dry mouth, diabetes, and dentures can also lead to bad breath issues. Another big contributor to halitosis is poor oral health, which includes problems such as gum disease, abscessed teeth, and decay.

Treating chronic halitosis involves addressing the root problem, not covering it up with mouthwash or mints. In fact, these solutions can actually exacerbate the problem by drying out your mouth. Follow these tips to help control bad breath:

  • Avoid odor causing foods
  • Brush and floss regularly to eliminate plaque
  • Chew sugarless gum, which increases saliva
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Make sure to brush your tongue
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Schedule regular checkups and cleanings

Schedule a dental cleaning appointment today at our Morehead City dentists office.

Dairy and Your Dental Health

Dairy and Your Dental Health

Many people find foods such as cheese, yogurt, and milk to be a very enjoyable part of their diet. Not only are some of these dairy items tasty and nutritious, did you know they can also help your teeth and gums? Studies show that consuming dairy products regularly can lower the occurrence of dental diseases. Let’s see which dairy items you should consider incorporating into your diet and why.

Reduce gum disease

The primary benefit of dairy to your dental health is lowering your risk of periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, this condition affects roughly 75 percent of Americans at some level. It may be minor gingivitis or advanced periodontitis. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, contribute to heart disease and stroke, and worsen diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis. Lactic acid is one of the key ingredients in many dairy items, and researchers believe that lactic acid is related to reducing gum disease.

Choose your dairy

Just because a food is identified as a dairy product, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely healthy for you. Here are some tips to help you choose the ideal foods and beverages for your dental health:

  • Look for low fat and non-fat options.
  • Choose white milk instead of flavored milk, such as chocolate. The added sugars can lead to tooth decay.
  • Consider natural and organic products when possible.
  • Select unsweetened yogurt without sugar or artificial sweeteners. A good alternative is Greek yogurt which you can add fruit or honey to create an appetizing, healthy snack.

Enjoy additional benefits

Avoiding gum disease isn’t the only benefit of eating dairy. It helps build strong teeth and bones, and is rich in vitamins that are good for your overall health. So the next time you get hungry, try some cheese or a glass of milk because these foods will not only satisfy your hunger but also keep you smiling.

If you live in the Morehead City area contact us today

Comprehensive Dental Center

Dr. Jack T. Winchester
3705 Symi Circle
Morehead City, NC 28557
252-247-3510

Our practice is conveniently located in Morehead City, NC

Our Hours
Monday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Friday: Closed

Directions to our office