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Tooth decay (also called dental cavities or dental caries) –  The destruction of the surfaces (dentin and/or enamel) of a tooth and infiltration of bacteria into tooth structure. Tooth decay results from the action of bacteria that live in plaque. Plaque is a sticky, whitish film formed by bacteria and food debris which adheres to the pellicle (a protein layer on the tooth surface). The plaque bacteria sticking to tooth enamel breakdown the sugar and starch from food particles in the mouth to produce acid.

Only Cake, Candy, and  Sugary Drinks Cause Tooth Decay.

Myth, but it’s almost a fact.

Guess what sugar is? You guessed it a carbohydrate. White rice, french fries, bagels, chips and fruits are all carbohydrates. The stickier the carb, like white rice, caramel, or fruit gummies, the longer they stay lodged between teeth and stuck in grooves. The truth is that the acid produced by the bacteria while breaking down carbohydrates is what causes tooth decay. The bacteria makes the acid when you eat anything with carbohydrates that stick and stay on your teeth. The resulting acid melts through the strong outer enamel and allows bacteria to enter into the inner layer (dentin). The bacteria are not visible to the eye, and the breakdown is slow and steady forming a hole, better known as a cavity.

An important fact to know: It is not the amount of carbohydrates you consume that end up causing tooth decay, but the length of time your teeth are exposed. If you eat a high amount of carbohydrates for lunch, that’s one big exposure. But if you spend the day sipping sugary drinks, chewing on gummy bears, sucking on tic tacs, that continuous exposure is far more unhealthy for your teeth. Dentists have a saying, “sip all day and get tooth decay“.

All Dental Restorations Need to be Replaced Every Few Years.

Myth.

An amalgam or composite filling needs to be replaced only if it breaks down or a cavity forms around it, or if the tooth breaks or fractures. If none of those problems occur, you can keep the same filling for quite a long time. Most dental restorations do have a life expectancy but it depends on each individual. Tooth wear due to clenching or grinding, diet, and dental hygiene habits,  play a huge role in how long these restorations last, some last more than 50 years! Maintaining proper oral hygiene and maintenance  will help your dental restorations last longer.

Once You Get a Tooth Capped, the Tooth Can’t Decay.

Myth.

A Cap or a crown covers and protects underlying tooth structure. However, the area where the crown edge ends and tooth is not covered ( the margin), is where bacteria like to stick. It is the least smooth part of the tooth, and where bacteria can break the seal between the tooth and crown. Once the seal breaks, bacteria can move up and under the crown to slowly breakdown tooth and root structure. A dentist always checks margins around teeth to try to find breaks in margins, however, when breakdown occurs in between teeth it is harder to detect and  usually decays much further before it can be detected on an x-ray.

When You get a Root Canal, the Roots are Removed and the Tooth Can’t Decay.

Myth.

A root canal treatment does not remove roots, what is removed are the nerves, blood vessels, bacteria, and debris from inside of the roots. The dentist then fills and seals the roots with a rubbery filling and sealing paste. This prevents bacteria from re-entering a tooth. Once the root canal is completed, the tooth should heal, and usually be covered and protected with a crown to help prevent cracking. Tooth decay can happen, just as in any tooth.

Children are more prone to Tooth Decay than Adults.

Myth.

Advances in pediatric dentistry have allowed us to cut childhood tooth decay in half over the last 20 years. These advances include sealants, fluoridated water, dietary consultations, and preventive care. As we see advances in pediatric dentistry, and decreases in tooth decay a different population has had increases in tooth decay. Seniors have an increase in cavities due to an increase in advances in pharmacology, limited dexterity, insufficient professional cleanings, and dry mouth. Many medications have a side effect of causing dry mouth which increases the risk of tooth decay.

If You Have Tooth Decay, You Can Feel it.

Myth.

Tooth decay may or may not cause any symptoms. Everyone and each individual tooth varies in it’s pain threshold. The pain associated with tooth decay may be detected very early in some and when it is in a more advanced stage and is actually causing damage to the nerve in others. Allowing tooth decay to progress untreated can and will lead to much more expensive and extensive dental procedures, like root canals and oral surgery. That’s why regular dental examinations are so important.

Teeth can only repair themselves when initial enamel breakdown is occurring, and the bacteria have not entered the dentin. Some enamel can repair with natural calcium remineralization and some can harden and repair with fluoride . Persistent bacteria will cause a cavity to forms which will continue to grow and progress into the tooth, eventually working its way into the dentin and then the nerve of the tooth.

Cavities Are More Likely Between Teeth.

Fact.

Any place in the mouth where you cannot reach and bacteria can hide is a place for tooth decay to form. That is why brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial and fluoride rinse (such as Purple Listerine) are so important. They allow you to reach areas brushing alone cannot. Flossing is one of the few ways to get in between teeth and properly avoid tooth decay between teeth.

Chips and Cracks in Teeth Lead to Decay.

Fact.

Cracks and chips in teeth can create a hiding place for bacteria and make those areas more prone to tooth decay. Using a fluoride rinse can reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Sensitive Teeth Means You Have Decay.

Myth.

Tooth sensitivity could just mean you have hypersensitive teeth, or gum recession has exposed some root.

You could also have a cracked or broken tooth or could need a root canal. There are many things, including tooth decay, that could lead to sensitive teeth. If your teeth are sensitive you should schedule a dental examination to make sure it is not something serious.

Cavities Are the Only Reason for Root Canals.

Myth.

Root Canal treatment is caused by a variety of things including tooth decay. Root canal treatment is needed if the nerve inside a tooth is damaged which can be a result of decay or trauma.  Trauma can result from accidents, grinding, clenching, biting into a very hard object (piercings, hard candy, etc.), ice chewing, etc.

You Don’t Need to Worry About Cavities in Baby Teeth.

Myth. 

Baby teeth are needed to hold the space for permanent teeth. Also, tooth decay in baby teeth can develop into serious pain, dental abscess and serious infection. On occasion the infection can spread to other parts of the body and has even caused death if left untreated.

Brushing, Flossing, and Rinsing and a Healthy Diet Is the Best Way to Prevent Cavities.

Fact. 

Definitely. Preventive dentistry is the key to staying cavity free. The bacteria must be removed from the teeth.

Brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, and floss and rinse daily. Antimicrobial rinses target bacteria, reducing plaque, bad breath, and the severity of gingivitis. Rinses with fluoride make teeth more resistant to tooth decay. If bacteria are removed daily from every area of your tooth. Eat healthy foods, and limit exposure to carbohydrates.

Tooth Decay Conclusion

There are many misconceptions about what causes tooth decay and what doesn’t. The facts remain, A healthy diet, and proper oral hygiene will not only help you prevent tooth decay, but keep your whole body healthier.

When it comes to snacking, we do not always make the right choices. In moments of weakness and hunger we often opt for a sugary snack.  It may give us a bit of energy to

Dental Health Marielaina Perrone DDS

Make Good Snacking Choices For Your Dental Health!

get through our day, or just be a comfort during stress. Sugary snacks may taste great, but they are poor choices for our teeth and our bodies. Not only will the sugar cause tooth decay, but it will effect us negatively in other ways as well. Sugar causes you to “carb crash”, making you feel tired after the sugar high wears off, makes your body need to over produce insulin, dries your mouth out, and can allow us to gain significant amounts of weight if we are not careful. Smart choices are the key.

What Happens In Our Mouth When We Eat Sugar?

Our mouth is full of various bacteria. When sugary and starchy foods are introduced into the mouth the bacteria feed on the remains. The byproduct of this “feeding” is the production of acid. This acid over time will break down the enamel of our teeth leading to tooth decay. If you simply choose to eat healthy foods, then your chances of exposure to these acids is reduced.

The key is to make smart choices when snacking. There are many types of snacks out there and not all are bad for us. Certain sweets are worse than others. These include the gooey and chewy sugary snacks, and the sour gummy type candies. The reason these snacks are so much worse is that they stick to the surface of the teeth lasting in the mouth and on the enamel far longer than other types of sugary snacks, the sour gummies also contain high acid along with the sticky sugars..

The time of day is also important. Snacking late at night, or just before bedtime will allow the sugar to remain in your mouth overnight.As your mouth dries out, saliva production and bacteria clearance decrease dramatically. A dry mouth with sugar residue will put you at an increased risk for tooth decay.

Practice good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing following snacking will go along way towards helping reduce our risk for tooth decay.

Best Snacks For Dental Health

-Fresh fruits and raw vegetables. The fruits can include oranges, melons, and pears. While the vegetables can include broccoli, celery, cucumbers, and carrots.

-Whole Grains. This can include whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel bagels, baked tortilla chips, wheat crackers with cheese, and even some unsweetened cereals.

-Milk and dairy products. This includes milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

-Meat, nuts and seeds. This can include turkey, deli meats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and various unsweetened nuts.

Dental Health Marielaina Perrone DDSSnacking Tips For Good Dental Health

Let’s be honest with ourselves, snacking is a part of who we are. Snacking in moderation along with good dental hygiene will keep our teeth healthy as well as keep our weight down so we can be healthier overall. A few key tips:

-Snack Wisely. Make the right choice more often than not. Get in the habit of choosing good snacks that are beneficial to our teeth and bodies. Avoiding sugar when possible. Drink lots of water during and after snacking.

-Time Your Snacking. Avoid sweets between meals. If you do choose to snack between meals get in the habit of brushing and flossing following the snack to keep the acids at bay.

-Variety. Mix up your snacking to ensure we get a good baalnce of nutrition into our bodies.

-Maintain Dental Hygiene. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after snacks and meals. If you cannot brush and floss right away, vigorously rinse your mouth with water a few times to try to wash away some of the sugar from our mouths as well as counteract the acids.

Conclusion

The bottom line is to choose your snacks wisely. Your health as well as your children’s depends upon it. Many snacks are better for children simply because they have the ability to promote growth and development. Be aware that many “healthy” foods if overindulged in, without maintaining good dental hygiene, can still cause tooth decay. Adults and children need to get in the habit of brushing, flossing, and rinsing following snacking and having a meal. Your teeth and body will thank you for it in the long run.

Everyone likes giving or receiving kisses. It could be a spouse, child, or loved one, but are there any dental health dangers associated with kissing? With just one kiss, youKissing Marielaina Perrone DDS can share over 500 different types of disease causing germs and viruses. Not knowing who you are kissing could be as dangerous to your health as having multiple sexual partners. What are the benefits, aside from the obvious?

Common Diseases and Viruses Transmitted By Kissing

-Cold Sores – This type of sore is caused by the herpes virus (family of diseases that causes Epstein-Barr, chickenpox, or herpes simplex). Cold sores appear as tiny, clear, fluid filled blisters that form around the mouth and lips. This type of sore is highly contagious. This is especially true while the sores are open and leaking fluids. Even sores that have formed scabs can be contagious.

-Upper respiratory tract infections - like colds can easily spread through a kiss. If you feel a cold or flu virus coming on you should avoid kissing. Many different viruses are responsible for causing the common cold. Colds are believed to be spread by direct contact with the virus. You can catch a cold from airborne droplets or from direct contact with secretions (fluids and mucous) from the infected person’s nose and throat.

-Mononucleosis (also called Glandular Fever) – This is called the “kissing disease” for a reason! It is easily transmitted to others through kissing, as well as sharing food, a cup, or even a straw.

-Hepatitis B – this may be transferred via kissing but it is quite rare, but it is transferable through saliva. Hepatitis B shows up in far higher levels in the blood than in the saliva. If the person you are kissing has bleeding gums (from periodontal disease), it will  be even more likely to be transmitted through the  mucous membranes (mouth, tongue, and gums).

-Tooth Decay – The bacteria that cause tooth decay are not found in the mouths of babies at birth.  A baby’s mouth must be colonized with infected saliva, which can be passed by a kiss on the lips from Mommy or Daddy.

-Periodontal Disease – It is possible to pass the bacteria responsible for periodontal disease through kissing.

Kissing Marielaina Perrone DDSBenefits Of Kissing

Even with all the potential dangers listed above, kissing does have some major benefits.

-Increased Salivary Flow - During the act of kissing, the salivary glands get stimulated. This releases increased saliva into the mouth. Saliva is mostly water but also contains electrolytes, sodium, proteins, and digestive enzymes. These digestive enzymes not only help in digesting food but also in resiting the attacks o viruses and bacteria. Saliva naturally guards our teeth. Saliva also contains the nutrients calcium and fluoride, which help re-mineralize any sort of injury on your tooth’s enamel.

-Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder Treatment - The physical action of kissing someone effects more than 34 different muscles in your face. Those with soreness within the TM joints at times notice that kissing helps to loosen up the jaw bone, the tongue and other muscular areas within the mouth area. Unstrained muscle groups can sort out any discomfort which is being a result of TMJ issues.

-Increased Immunity Strength – Kissing causes individuals to transfer antibodies from one to another. These antibodies may be new to you and thus will strengthen your immune system. Nevertheless, if you know someone is ill, it’s wise to try to keep from kissing them until finally they are healed.

-Improved Mood - kissing releases nature’s antidepressant, oxytocin. Kissing does not just increase the production of feel good chemicals in our bodies, it also lowers our cortisol and cholesterol levels, too.

-Increased Metabolism - During a really passionate kiss, a person can burn anywhere from 2-5 calories per minute. This is double your normal resting rate. Over an hour of kissing can lead you to burn almost 200 calories. While you should not rely on kissing to help you lose a significant amount of weight, it might give your metabolism an extra boost and help shed a pound or two.

The negative effects of kissing should not keep you from kissing your loved ones, but you should be sure to maintain your oral health to keep up your dental and physical health.

Preventive Tips While KissingKissing Marielaina Perrone DDS

-Use sugar free chewing gum, preferably with xylitol.

-Use mouthwash.

-Maintain good oral hygiene by following home care instructions and visiting your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.

-Visit your dentist if you suspect you may have tooth decay or a periodontal disease.

-Only kiss someone if you know where he or she has been.

Conclusion

We love to kiss those we care about. We need to remember to protect them as well as ourselves by being clean and healthy.  Be smart about who you kiss and enjoy yourself!

 

Most of us worry before we sit in the dental chair and we know the questions that are coming…”Have you been flossing and brushing regularly?” So what do we do, weCosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS frantically brush, floss, and use a mouth rinse right before our appointment. And when we finally sit down in the chair and we get asked that dreaded question we always answer “yes, I brush and floss all the time”. You hope they believe you but deep down you know they know you are not being entirely truthful. How can they tell? What are the Signs?

Signs You Are Not Brushing and Flossing Regularly

Brushing and flossing is such an important part of maintaining not only our dental health but studies have proven our general health as well. Signs that you are not brushing and flossing properly include:

-Increased Tooth Decay. There are other factors, like diet, that cause tooth decay but not brushing and flossing will definitely lead increased incidence of tooth decay over time, especially tooth decay between teeth. If you have any tooth cavities or the beginning stages of cavities, it indicates that flossing is a weak point in your home dental hygiene regimen.

-Inflammation. This might be one of the most obvious tell tale signs that you are not brushing and flossing regularly. Plaque, bacteria, and food debris will sit in between the teeth when we do not brush and floss properly. This causes the body to start the inflammatory process to remove the irritant. As a result your gums will begin to appear pink, puffy, and bleed very easily.

-Cuts or Abrasions on Gums. This is an indicator you are not flossing regularly or just not flossing properly. You need to be careful when flossing around teeth and do not force the floss.

Conclusion

The bottom line is you need to take the time to practice good dental hygiene to ensure a lifetime of smiles. Once it becomes a habit it will become second nature and be a seemless part of your daily routine.

The moral of the story is simple, make flossing a part of your daily regimen! The benefits to your dental health are tremendous.