Bayberry Dental Care

Friday, June 28, 2019

Traumatic Tooth Loss

Nobody ever plans to get a tooth knocked out, which is why it’s important for you to know what to do if it happens. With more people enjoying the outdoors during the summer, dental avulsion (as traumatic tooth loss is scientifically called), is a greater risk, but we at Bayberry Dental Care may be able to help if patients follow this advice.


A tooth that has been knocked out should only be held by its crown, not its root. Ideally, the patient will have an ADA-approved tooth container close at hand in a first aid kit. If not, the next best thing is to rinse the tooth with a sterile saline solution and then place it back in its socket. It may take some care to make sure the tooth is facing the right way. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, the patient may try placing it between their gum and cheek or transporting it in a cup of milk.


A tooth that has been cracked at the root may be impossible to save. Dentists also do not re-insert baby teeth that have been prematurely displaced because they may subsequently fail to fall out when the adult tooth is ready to erupt. If a child loses a tooth prematurely, we may recommend an orthodontic spacer to prevent the gap between their remaining teeth from closing. Also, keep in mind that lacerations to the face should take priority over a lost tooth during an emergency. However, we can often save teeth, and when we can’t, we can provide patients with a temporary crown prior to fabricating a partial denture.


Kathleen M. Falsey, D.D.S., operates Bayberry Dental Care at 8014 West 171st St, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477. To schedule an appointment, call 708-802-8300 or visit Bayberry Dental Care and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Alzheimer's Disease and Oral Bacteria

If you’ve kept up with your brushing and flossing, you might see some unexpected benefits later in life. That’s the conclusion of several recent studies investigating a link between oral bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease. Patients suffering from gingivitis can expect compassionate treatment at Bayberry Dental Care in Tinley Park, but we wanted to pass along this news to inspire our readers to keep up their oral hygiene.


One of the bacteria species that causes gum disease is Porphyromonas gingivalis. It secretes an enzyme called a gingipain that is commonly found in brains and spinal fluid, but is especially common in people with Alzheimer’s. Testing on animals revealed that gingipains destroy brain cells and trigger the production of substances that comprise the neural plaque that disrupts Alzheimer’s patients’ neurological function.


Additional recent studies have shown that P. gingivalis is able to spread from oral infections into neural fluid, including in the brain. Scientists do not expect oral bacteria to be the sole cause of Alzheimer’s, but they say this could be an important piece of the puzzle and are developing new drugs based on this research. We know that Alzheimer’s patients have difficulty maintaining their oral hygiene, and this could create a feedback loop. However, patients may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s from beginning by keeping their teeth clean and keeping regular dental appointments.


Kathleen M. Falsey, D.D.S., operates Bayberry Dental Care at 8014 West 171st St, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477. To schedule an appointment, call 708-802-8300 or visit Bayberry Dental Care and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Asthma and Tooth Decay

We work hard a Bayberry Dental Care to assist patients with particular dental health needs. If you struggle with asthma, you may be at increased risk for developing caries and other oral infections. With respect and a gentle touch, we’ll teach you how to manage this condition and reverse decay you may already be suffering.


In people with asthma, the throat and nasal tissues are swollen. Due to difficulty breathing through their noses, they may resort to mouth breathing, particularly while asleep. This significantly increases their risk of dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. Saliva doesn’t just make swallowing food debris easier, it also neutralizes the acid that oral bacteria secrete and that is transferred to teeth from drinks such as soda. Keeping the mouth at a neutral pH level also makes it less hospitable to fungus.


A patient suffering from dry mouth may benefit from using artificial throat moisturizers. They can also stimulate saliva production by chewing sugar-free gum and increasing their water intake. While it is inadvisable to stop taking asthma medications without a doctor’s advice, patients may want to ask about alternatives if their medication is causing dry mouth as a side effect. They should also be aware that throat muscle relaxants can open the sphincter to the stomach, allowing acid reflux to occur, and that inhalant medication commonly contains sugars that will need to be brushed off teeth prior to bed.


Kathleen M. Falsey, D.D.S., operates Bayberry Dental Care at 8014 West 171st St, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477. To schedule an appointment, call 708-802-8300 or visit Bayberry Dental Care and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Benefits of Sealants

You can be a good brusher, but as long as there are deep natural grooves in your teeth, they’ll be at risk for decay. We highly value prevention at Bayberry Dental Care. To protect our patients from caries, we offer sealants that shield their teeth from decay and deprive bacteria of hiding places.


Our molars and premolars are made up of raised points, called cuspids, with indentations in between. Those indentations can easily get filled up with food debris, and children, in particular, have a difficult time cleaning them. Dental sealants are bits of plastic that are used to fill in indentations, smoothing them out and providing an extra layer of material that acid would have to break through to harm a tooth. They are commonly put on molars and premolars as soon as their surfaces are fully erupted.


The sealant placement process is easy. After brushing the teeth, we’ll apply an etching acid to them that will increase their surface area, allowing the plastic to more easily bond with enamel. We’ll then use a special light to harden the plastic. The sealant is thin enough to allow the cuspids to continue grinding food. Patients with sealants sill have to brush and floss regularly, but they get 80% fewer caries in the teeth that have been treated.


Kathleen M. Falsey, D.D.S., operates Bayberry Dental Care at 8014 West 171st St, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477. To schedule an appointment, call 708-802-8300 or visit Bayberry Dental Care and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Bad Breath and Oral Health

If you have chronically bad breath, there may be more to it than just what you eat. At Bayberry Dental Care in Tinley Park, we are concerned with the relationship between oral health and the rest of the body. Halitosis, or bad breath, could be an indicator of an issue related to oral infection or a condition with consequences for the oral cavity.


When food particles get trapped, the bacteria that consume them give off a foul odor. Bacteria can also eat things we wouldn’t find appetizing, such as nasal drip that lands on the tongue. For that reason, patients should use a tongue scraper each day and brush their tongue along with their teeth. They may also want to try antibacterial mouthwash, which comes in nonalcoholic varieties for children.


Halitosis can also be caused by dry mouth. Saliva neutralizes acid and helps wash away food debris. Medications commonly cause dry mouth as a side effect. Patients should ask their doctor about changing them if this is causing bad breath and caries, but they should not stop taking medication on their own. An autoimmune disorder could cause the salivary glands to become inflamed, preventing them from secreting adequate saliva. Diabetes can also contribute to bad breath due to changes it causes in how the body breaks down chemicals, as well as its suppression of the immune system and diabetic people’s resulting vulnerability to gum disease. This becomes less of an issue when insulin levels are controlled.


Kathleen M. Falsey, D.D.S., operates Bayberry Dental Care at 8014 West 171st St, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477. To schedule an appointment, call 708-802-8300 or visit Bayberry Dental Care and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Pulp Infections and Staining

Bayberry Dental Care in Tinley Park offers services ranging from cosmetic dentistry to root canals, and sometimes, patients are in need of both. Most tooth discoloration is due to stains on the outside of the teeth which may be removed with whitening therapies. But when a stain is on the inside, it could indicate something about the health of the tooth’s pulp.


Intrinsic staining isn’t always pathological. It can be caused by exposure to fluoride or tetracycline antibiotics during the tooth’s formation, in which case the tooth can simply be covered with a new veneer. But inflammation or necrosis of dental pulp could be painful to a patient and the infection that caused it has the potential to spread. In these cases, the tooth would look red, purple, or black. We can confirm an infection through tactile and x-ray imaging tests.


We remove infected pulp by performing root canal therapy. After the interior of the tooth has been cleaned, bleach may be temporarily put inside it to combat staining. But intrinsic stains can sink deep into enamel, so we may have to consider other options, such as a new crown or veneer. Regardless, we want our patients to leave with teeth that are not only healthy, but beautiful.


Kathleen M. Falsey, D.D.S., operates Bayberry Dental Care at 8014 West 171st St, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477. To schedule an appointment, call 708-802-8300 or visit Bayberry Dental Care and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Sensitivity and Enamel

It seemed to take forever for warm weather to arrive this year, but now that it has, ice cream parlors are doing brisk business. Unfortunately, many people suffer from tooth sensitivity and try to avoid things that are too cold (or too hot). Patients at Bayberry Dental Care can count on us to restore their teeth’s integrity, but there are some things they need to understand to maintain their oral health.


The blood vessels in each tooth surround a nerve. Although the outside of dental crowns is made up of hard enamel, between enamel and pulp is a layer called dentin that is made up of small tubes. Heat easily transfers through dentin, so if the enamel is compromised, a person’s dental pulp will be extremely sensitive to heat changes. The roots of teeth, which are normally insulated by gum tissue and an adhesive called cementum, have less enamel.


Enamel may crack, but sensitivity is usually due to changes in its chemical structure. Acid, whether produced by oral bacteria or regurgitated from the stomach, dissolves the calcium phosphate that comprises enamel. A patient can reinforce their enamel by using fluoridated toothpaste and by getting treatments at our office such as sealants and fluoride therapies. But if enamel has lost mass, the cavity will have to be repaired with a filling. Deep cleanings are essential to preventing gum recession and protecting tooth roots.


Kathleen M. Falsey, D.D.S., operates Bayberry Dental Care at 8014 West 171st St, Tinley Park, Illinois, 60477. To schedule an appointment, call 708-802-8300 or visit Bayberry Dental Care and fill out a contact sheet.