Archive for category: Dental Health

Common Causes of Teeth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration can stem from many root causes, including preventable and non-preventable sources. You can review the below causes to find out what might be causing your tooth discoloration, how to prevent it, and ways to fix it.

 

One common reason for tooth discoloration is as simple as the food you eat and the beverages you drink. Coffee, tea and wine are well-known for causing tooth yellowing or discoloration. Many people choose to use a straw to avoid beverage contact with the tooth surface. Some fruits and vegetables, including apples and potatoes, have also been found to cause discoloration. Smokers also often have tooth discoloration from the use of tobacco, which stains the surface of your teeth.

 

Dental hygiene is critical, and if your brushing, flossing and rinsing regimen is not sufficient, poor dental hygiene may ensue. Make sure to brush twice daily and floss daily, as well as use an antiseptic mouthwash to ensure proper dental hygiene and avoid unnecessary tooth discoloration.

 

There are medical reasons why some people may find their teeth become discolored. There are diseases that affect the teeth (either the enamel surface or the dentin material that underlies the enamel). Radiation, chemotherapy, and some infections have also been found to lead to tooth discoloration. Some medications also lead to yellowed teeth, including antibiotics that may cause discoloration in young children as their teeth develop. Some antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and high blood pressure medications also create tooth discoloration.

 

Genetics and aging also play a role in tooth discoloration. Enamel plays a big role in tooth appearance, so people who are genetically predisposed to having brighter or stronger enamel may be less likely to see tooth discoloration. As people age, natural wear and tear causes some erosion of the enamel, which leads to a yellowed or discolored appearance. Some environmental factors also play a role, like the use of excessive fluoride in water or in dental products like toothpaste or mouthwash.

 

If you have concerns about your tooth discoloration, talk to your dentist about the causes for your dental appearance and potential ways to prevent further discoloration. There are plenty of options available for treatment, so book an appointment with your dentist to discover what treatment options you may be able to pursue.

Top 3 Ways to Care for Your Teeth Between Dental Visit

The American Dental Association advises most adults to visit the dentist twice per year, although some people may need to go more often. If you’re in-between visits—or simply unable to get to your dentist right now due to social distancing measures needed to slow the spread of the pandemic illness COVID-19—our Hilliard dentist team wants you to know there are plenty of things you can do to at home to take care of your teeth and gums.

3 Ways to Take Care of Your Teeth Between Dental Visits

1. Brush and floss teeth regularly.

Brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once daily—in addition to daily use of an antiseptic oral rinse with fluoride—is the best way to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Basic oral hygiene gets rid of the bacteria in your mouth which can cause plaque, tartar, inflammation, infections, and more.

Be sure to brush for at least 2 minutes and use a high-quality manual or electric toothbrush. Avoid brushing too hard—otherwise, you could damage your gums or tooth enamel. As for flossing, be sure to get in between each tooth. Ask a Hilliard dentist for technique pointers!

2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle overall.

Your oral health is intricately connected to your overall well-being. For example, we know that gum disease is correlated with other health conditions like dementia and heart disease.

In good news, taking care of your overall health also protects your teeth and gums. So, be sure to practice the following lifestyle habits:

  • Avoid sugary and processed foods and drinks, which promote harmful bacterial growth in the mouth
  • Eat nutritious foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals
  • Stop using cigarettes, vape products, and smokeless products like chewing tobacco—or simply never start

3. Protect your teeth.

Many of our favorite sports and activities—from soccer to skateboarding—pose the potential for accidental trauma to the mouth, which may lead to injuries like cracked or broken teeth.

While our Hilliard dental team is accepting emergency appointments right now, it’s still important to wear the recommended protective gear during your activities of choice, including mouthguards, face shields, and helmets.

 

Don’t wait! Schedule your next dental exam and cleaning at Fishinger Dental by calling (614) 771-6060 today.

What is Sleep Apnea?

The muscles in the throat allow us to speak, swallow and breathe. As we sleep, these throat muscles become less active and they relax, which causes a narrowing of the throat. For most people, this narrowing will not affect their ability to breathe effortlessly, however, for some, breathing becomes more difficult as the chest muscles and diaphragm work harder to open the blocked airway, these individuals have a condition that is referred to as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). When an individual has OSA, he or she stops breathing intermittently during sleep.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

There are numerous symptoms associated with sleep apnea. Many of which directly affect an individual’s quality of life.

Sleep apnea symptoms in adults can include:

  • Headaches, especially in the morning.
  • Daytime sleepiness.
  • A sore throat and/or a dry mouth upon waking.
  • Difficulty concentrating/Memory problems.
  • Depression.
  • Snoring.
  • Irritability.
  • A decreased sex drive.
  • Hypertension.
  • Uneven heart rhythms (due to a decrease in the amount of oxygen reaching the heart).
  • Waking suddenly choking or gasping for air.
  • GERD – Gastrointestinal reflux disease.

Sleep apnea symptoms in children may include:

  • Drooling/Choking during sleep.
  • Behavior and/or learning problems.
  • The child’s rib cage moves inward instead of out as he or she exhales.
  • Snoring.
  • Sleepiness or sluggishness, which is typically seen as the child just being ‘lazy.’
  • Teeth grinding.
  • Breathing that stops during sleep.
  • Odd sleeping positions (e.g., sleeping with the head bent very far back).

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Although obstructive sleep apnea is frequently caused by the relaxed muscles in the throat, there are other issues that can cause this condition.

Other reasons obstructive sleep apnea develops include:

  • Inflamed tonsils.
  • Obesity.
  • Heart failure.
  • Endocrine disorders.

What Complications Are Associated with Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can cause an individual to develop eye problems, including dry eye and/or glaucoma. In addition, cardiovascular problems are fairly common among individuals with sleep apnea (e.g. a heart attack, stroke, hypertension, etc.). Sleep apnea can also cause metabolic disorders, including type 2 diabetes.

How Does a Dentist Address Sleep Apnea?

Individuals who have mild sleep apnea may be able to use a dental appliance or an oral mandibular advancement device to help keep their airway open during sleep. These devices are designed to keep the tongue from blocking the airway by moving the patient’s lower jaw forward.

If you or your child are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea, you may need to have a sleep study done to determine if sleep apnea is causing the symptoms and, if it is, the severity of the sleep apnea. If the obstructive sleep apnea is minor, one of the dentists at Fishinger Dental may be able to help address the issue with a dental appliance or device. To learn more, contact Fishinger Dental today at (614) 771-6060.

Fishinger Dental is located at 3560 Fishinger Boulevard in Hilliard, Ohio.

Can You Have Your Teeth Whitened During Pregnancy?

You had intentions of having your teeth professionally whitened at the dentist, but you have discovered that you are expecting a baby. Naturally, being pregnant means anything you are exposed to could have the potential to harm the growing child. So, is teeth whitening during pregnancy safe for the baby? Here is a look at a few things to consider.

Optional whitening procedures may not be best during pregnancy.

The general rule in dentistry for a pregnant woman is to only perform the basic care or care that is absolutely necessary. In other words, only procedures that do not involve additional medications and chemicals should be performed unless there is an emergency. Professional whitening procedures will involve the use of chemicals, and some of these chemicals can potentially be absorbed in your mouth or ingested and reach the baby. Even though research has not yet established that these chemicals can cause a growing baby any harm, they also have not established that they don’t. Therefore, it is better to wait until after the baby comes to have your teeth whitened.

What about at-home whitening kits?

At-home whitening kits often contain the same ingredients as what is used at the dentist but the ingredients are not as potent. Therefore, even at-home whitening kits should likely be avoided until you have your baby.

Alternative ways to get a brighter smile while pregnant.

If you are really bummed that you can’t get your teeth whitened while you are pregnant, you should know that there may be a few things you can do to remove stubborn stains and get a whiter, brighter smile before the baby is born that will be safe. For example, some dentists use halogen light to perform whitening services without the use of the whitening gel. You can also bust some stubborn stains by brushing your teeth with baking soda or using a whitening toothpaste.

Talk to Us About Dental Care During Pregnancy

Taking good care of your teeth is always important, but pregnancy can bring about a few extra concerns. If you are pregnant and need advice on taking care of your teeth, reach out to us at Fishinger Dental to schedule an appointment.

What’s it Like to Be Sedated For Dental Work?

Certain dental treatments can make some patients feel anxious or worried. Rather than having patients feel this way, an increasing number of dentists offer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is where the patient is sedated during the treatment. Sedation makes things easier for the patient, and it also can make things easier for the dentist in terms of not having to constantly stop work to get the patient to relax again. If you’ve never been sedated, you probably have questions about what the experience is like.

How is Dental Sedation Administered?

Your dentist may offer one or more kinds of dental sedation. Depending upon your preference and the nature of the treatment, one kind may be considered better than another.

The first thing to know is how sedation is administered to the patient. Dental sedation is administered a little differently depending on what kind of sedation is being given. The overall types of administration are:

  • IV sedation, in which sedation is administered with a needle
  • Oral sedation, in which sedation is administered with a pill
  • Laughing Gas sedation, in which sedation is administered through a mask

What Does it Feel Like to Be Sedated?

Being sedated at the dentist’s office isn’t like going under anesthesia for hospital surgery. The overall sensation is very mild and gentle, and there’s little to no chance that you’ll feel “funny” or “weird” afterward. It’s very similar to feeling very relaxed, almost like being in a meditative state. The sensation varies slightly depending on which kind you receive:

  • Laughing gas sedation may actually make you smile or laugh a little. Basically, you will just feel like you’re in a good mood. You’ll still be conscious during the treatment, but you won’t take it seriously; nothing will bother you about the treatment.
  • With oral sedation, you’ll take a prescribed sedative of a certain dosage prior to your treatment. You will be awake during the treatment, but you may not recall everything afterward.
  • With IV sedation, you’ll be fully aware, but you may feel “removed” from the treatment, almost like you’re watching it happen to someone else.

Whenever you undergo sedation, you’ll be closely monitored by your dental staff. For more specific information about sedation dentistry options, talk to your dentist.

Common Reasons for Wisdom Teeth Removal

We grow these third molars in each corner of our mouths, but more often than not, the large teeth have to be removed by a dental surgeon or a dentist. As many as 10 million people in the United States have their wisdom teeth removed annually. Why do wisdom teeth often have to be taken out by a dentist? Take a look at some of the common reasons for wisdom teeth removal.

The Wisdom Teeth Will Cause Crowding

In most cases, the reason a dentist will determine that wisdom teeth have to be removed is the fact that the emerging new teeth will cause overcrowding problems for the rest of the teeth. Many people do not have substantial space in their jawline for these teeth to grow in properly. Why do these teeth grow if there is no room for them? Scientists believe evolution and changes in the human diet are to blame. Those jaw teeth that once were a necessity, are no longer something that you really need.

The Wisdom Teeth Cause Painful Bite Issues

If the wisdom teeth do not have enough space to grow in the jawline, it can cause the molars to come in at an awkward angle. Some people’s wisdom teeth do not even erupt through the gum line because there is so little space. When this occurs, the teeth push against the other molars in the back of the mouth, which can lead to painful bite issues. You may have undue sensitivity when you chew your food or bite down. In the worst cases, the un-erupted wisdom teeth can push so hard against the surrounding teeth that it causes movement or displacement of those teeth.

Contact Fishinger Dental in Hilliard for Information About Wisdom Teeth Removal

Even though not everyone will have to have their wisdom teeth removed, and some people do not grow wisdom teeth at all, some people must have these molars removed to protect the health of their smile. If you believe your wisdom teeth are causing you issues, reach out to us at Fishinger Dental to find out more about the removal of wisdom teeth or to make an appointment at our Hilliard, OH office.

3 Common Causes of Bad Breath

If you are loved ones suffer from bad breath, you already know that bad breath can be a very serious condition that affects other aspects of your life. Sometimes bad breath is temporary; other times bad breath of your chronic condition that affects you on a daily basis. Luckily, bad breath is completely preventable. Once you know the cause of your bad breath, all you need to do is take some steps to avoid getting bad breath in the future. Following are X common causes of bad breath.

1. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that eat away at the tooth and the roots. If you have tooth decay happening your mouth, chances are you also have bad breath. If this is the reason for your bad breath, all you need to do to get rid of it is to visit a dentist and have the tooth decay treated. As soon as one day, you can find yourself free of bad breath.

2. Smoking and Drinking

If you smoke and/or drink, you may have bad breath and not even realize it. Often, people smoke or drink, they are unaware of their own bad breath because they can’t smell it. It’s very obvious to other people, though. Certain smokes and drinks cause bad breath more than others. Cigars are particularly odorous and, surprisingly, drinking lots of red wine will lead to bad breath. Your choice is obvious. You can either give up smoking and drinking, or you can make sure you brush and rinse after every episode of smoking and drinking. You should brush your hands after smoking anyway because it causes your teeth to become stained.

3. Sickness

If you have chronic bad breath and you can’t figure out why you might want to consider making a visit to your doctor. Certain serious diseases that cause bad breath. Bad breath may be only one of the symptoms of your disease but it’s worth looking into.

If you have bad breath and you have determined that it isn’t caused by any of the above-mentioned problems, talk to your dentist. Your dentist may be able to give you some insight into what may be the underlying cause of your bad breath.

What To Do If You Lose a Tooth

Losing a tooth can be a very traumatic experience. Your teeth play an important part in how you look and feel about yourself. The important thing to remember if you lose a tooth is that you need to act fast. Your dentist may be able to offer you more restorative options if you do certain things immediately after losing a tooth.

Remain Calm and Call Your Dentist

First, remain calm. Many people lose a tooth; you’re not the only one. If you remain calm you’ll be able to think more clearly and do the right things to protect your dental health and your tooth. If possible, contact your dentist right away. If it’s the weekend or after hours, leave a message with the answering service. They may even be able to recommend the next steps, such as visiting the emergency room.

Keep the Tooth

If you can, save the tooth that came out. This may not always be possible, depending on the circumstances. If you don’t see the tooth right away, it’s worth a search to try and find it. Your dentist may be able to use this lost tooth to restore your smile.

Keep the Tooth Clean

You don’t want to scrub your tooth to clean it, but you do want to keep from adding any dirt or bacteria to it until you can get in to see your dentist. Many dentists recommend putting it into a small bottle with some milk. This is because milk contains calcium, which your tooth also contains. Put the lid on so it doesn’t spill during your trip to the dentist.

Stop the Bleeding

If you lost the tooth due to some kind of mouth trauma, you may experience significant bleeding. This can be very stressful, but remember that it’s perfectly normal. Use a sterile gauze pad to apply light pressure to stop the bleeding. Change the gauze pad as needed. Don’t swallow the blood, as this can cause stomach upset or vomiting.

Don’t Take Aspirin

Aspirin thins the blood and may lead to more bleeding. Avoid taking medication until you visit the dentist, to avoid any possible drug interactions.

Finally, have hope. Your dentist has a vast array of treatments available to help you with your lost tooth. Soon, your lost tooth experience will be a distant memory.

Taking Care of Your Teeth as a Diabetic: Important Tips to Remember

Being diabetic means that you have to be more attentive to every aspect of your health, including your oral health. People who have uncontrolled blood sugar are more likely to have issues with their teeth, their gums, and the overall health of their mouth. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes just like 29.1 million other people in the United States, you will have to take certain steps to protect your teeth. Here are a few important tips to remember.

Be Vigilant About Dental Checkups

As much as one out of five cases of total tooth loss can actually be linked to diabetes, which is a scary statistic to face if you are one of the people who have the condition. Seeing your dentist on a regular basis for checkups and cleanings will help protect your teeth and gums from the effects diabetes can have on them. Visit your dentist twice a year for deep cleaning and make sure you are getting checkups annually.

Watch Closely for Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the biggest reasons diabetics have trouble with their teeth because the gums protect the teeth and hold them securely in the gum line. People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease and often have problems with inflamed or bleeding gums, which has an impact on the health of the teeth. Research has suggested that having your gum disease treated and getting good cleanings regularly can actually help lower blood sugar levels.

Avoid Smoking or Smokeless Tobacco

As someone who has diabetes, the environment in your mouth may already be somewhat disrupted from what it should be. When you introduce something like tobacco smoke or fluid from smokeless tobacco, the risks to your smile can grow even higher than usual. Smoking actually raises the temperature inside of your mouth encouraging bacteria to grow and making infections in soft tissues even more plausible.

Even though having diabetes can leave you at higher risk for developing dental problems, many of these problems can be prevented. Reach out to us at Fishinger Dental if you would like to know how we can help you keep on smiling in spite of your diabetes diagnosis.

The Pros and Cons of Invisalign: A Guide for Parents

Many adolescents who need braces prefer Invisalign because they are not so noticeable, but is this the best plan of correcting your child’s smile? There are a few pros and cons to consider as a parent and to discuss with your child and their dentist to help you make the best decision.

Pro: Invisalign can correct mild to moderate bite issues.

Crowded teeth, gaps between teeth, slight overlaps, slight crossbite, minimal overbite, all of these are examples of bite issues that can be corrected with Invisalign. If an adolescent has some of these more typical bite issues, Invisalign works just as well as traditional braces.

Con: Invisalign requires a commitment to wearing the aligner.

Aligners should be worn for at least 20 to 22 hours per day. If your child is not committed to wearing the aligners or if you believe they will not follow instructions when they get their braces, it may be best to go with traditional braces that cannot be taken off. For most teens and children who understand if they do not wear their aligners as they should they will have to undergo treatment longer, the commitment to properly wearing their braces is no issue.

Pro: Your child can eat what they want with Invisalign.

The aligners can be removed as needed, and it is recommended that the aligners are taken out before eating. While metal braces come along with a list of foods that have to be avoided, such as popcorn and crunchy foods, Invisalign braces do not because they are taken out before eating anyway.

Con: Invisalign may not be ideal for severe issues.

Even though Invisalign can be an effective dental treatment for mild to moderate issues, it is an ideal form of braces in every situation. Those adolescents that have severe bite issues may have to have traditional braces.

Invisalign is a good fit for many teens who want a more discreet path to a nice smile. If you would like to know more about the options for your child where braces are concerned, reach out to us at Fishinger Dental for an appointment.