Getting To The Root Of Root Canals

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is the removal of nerves and the replacement of the nerve with sterile filling. Your tooth is made up of many layers. The outside layer is called enamel and is made of minerals. The middle layer is dentin, which is also a calcified tissue, but less dense. The center of the tooth is called the pulp, and that host the nerves and blood vessels. A root canal is the removal and replacement of this center with sterile filling. A root canal is needed when an infection spreads to the center of the tooth. This can be from trauma, a cavity, a severe crack, or other compromises that causes nerve damage. An x-ray and examination are required to see if a root canal is needed. Symptoms may included but are not limited to pain, swelling, change in tooth color, and lingering pain from hot or cold stimulation.

The Process of a Root Canal

When it is time to begin treatment, you’ll receive local anesthesia to make you comfortable. The nerve chamber will be accessed and all of the infected area is removed including the nerve tissue and blood vessels. Then medicines are used to sterilize and alleviate any pain. Next is the placement of a filling material into the space where the nerve was located.

When the nerve and blood supply are removed, the tooth is non-vital, or dead and will become weak and brittle. It is recommended to place a crown on the tooth to keep the tooth from breaking or falling apart. The crown covers the top of the tooth and protect it by strengthening the tooth and preventing breakage.

A root canal saves the tooth that would otherwise be extracted.

Grinding Your Teeth At Night

Do You Live A Stressful Life?

Stress is the most common cause of grinding and clenching of your teeth. Have you ever woken up with a tired jaw, a headache or an even an earache? You are more than likely suffering from a moderate to severe form of night grinding. Sometimes teeth grinding doesn’t always appear with obvious symptoms. Flattened teeth, tooth sensitivity, and constant cheek biting are common symptoms that most patients disregard as normal.

The Solution to Teeth Grinding

If stress management and lifestyle changes don’t work to control your teeth grinding (bruxism), the most common treatment involve mouth guards and bit splints that will physically stop you from closing down. More involved treatments include the use of sleep studies, muscle relaxants and even botox injections.

Signs and symptoms of teething grinding can be identified during your regular dental exams and treatment options can be discussed with your dentist. If you know that you are clenching or grinding your teeth, please do not wait for treatment or expect it to resolve on its own. An early intervention can often times be the difference between a healthy mouth and one that is breaking down. Call our office today 615-822-8262 to set up an appointment with Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones to take a look at your teeth grinding issues.

Oral Cancer Exam Performed by Your Dentist

 What Is An Oral Cancer Exam

An oral cancer exam is painless and quick– it only takes a few minutes. When coming in for your regular dental checkup is an excellent opportunity to have the oral cancer exam.

What You Can Expect:

Here is what to expect:

  1. Preparing for the exam: If you have dentures or partials, you will be ask to remove them.
  2. Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones will inspect your face, neck, lips and mouth to look for any signs of cancer.
  3. With both hands, he or she will feel the area under your jaw and the side of your neck; checking for lumps that may suggest cancer.
  4. He or she will then look at and feel the insides of your lips and cheeks to check for possible signs of cancer, such as red or white patches.
  5. Next, Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones will have you stick out your tongue so it can be checked for swelling or abnormal color or texture.
  6. Using gauze, he or she will then gently pull your tongue to one side, then the other, to check the base of your tongue. The underside of your tongue will also be checked.
  7. In addition, Dr.Harbin or Dr. Jones will look at the roof and floor of your mouth, as well as the back of your throat.
  8. Finally, Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones will put one finger on the floor of your mouth and, with the other hand under your chin, gently press down to check for lumps or sensitivity.

Diabetes and Oral Care:Tips to Keep Your Mouth in Tip Top Shape

Diabetes Can Cause Serious Problems In Your Mouth

If you have diabetes, make sure you take care of your mouth. People with diabetes are at risk for mouth infections, especially periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease can damage the gum and bone that hold your teeth in place and may lead to painful chewing problems. Some people with serious gum disease lose their teeth. Periodontal disease may also make it hard to control your blood glucose levels. If your diabetes is not under control, you are more likely o develop problems in your mouth, The good news is you can keep your teeth and gums healthy. By controlling your blood glucose, brushing and flossing every day, and visiting the dentist regularly, you can help prevent serious problems in your mouth.

Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Follow these steps for a healthy mouth:

  • Control your blood glucose
  • Brush and floss every day
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Be sure to tell your dentist you have diabetes.
  • Tell your dentist if your dentures do not fit right, or if your gums are sore.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking makes gum disease worse.

Take time to check your mouth regularly for any problems. Sometimes people notice that their gums bleed when they brush and floss. Others notice dryness, soreness, white patches, or a bad taste in the mouth. Remember, good blood glucose control can help prevent mouth problems.

Are Your Wisdom Teeth Bothering You?

Do Your Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?

One of the areas we evaluate during your new patient or recall exam is the presence of absence of third molars, more commonly known as “wisdom teeth.” If they are present, have they erupted into oral cavity? If so , we have to evaluate if they are decayed and can the decay be removed and the tooth restored. Some third molars can be restored, but some are not accessible and a recommendation for their removal is made.

Unsure If You Have Third Molars?

Some patients don’t even know they still have third molars. Rarely, an unerupted third molar can fora cyst. If this should occur, it must be removed. This is why a panoramic radiograph of the entire jaw bone must be taken periodically during your exam. If it has been recommended for you to have your wisdom teeth removed, the sooner you have it done the better. The younger you are the easier it is to tolerate the procedure and healing process. If you have a concern about your wisdom teeth, consult with Hendersonville Family Dentistry. An appointment can be made to see our Oral Surgeon that comes into our office once a month.

Getting To The Root Of Root Canals

Root Canal Can Be A Dreaded Procedure

A root canal is treatment of a tooth in order to save it from being removed. This is type of treatment is needed when there has been trauma to the tooth, extensive decay or an infection involving the tooth. This infection may be controlled temporarily with antibiotics  but it will return without proper care. The most common signs are sensitivity to temperature, air and pressure. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth and the bone around the tooth will be lost which results in it need to be removed. If the tooth is removed instead of a root canal procedure, this may lead to more costly problems down the road.

Procedure Of A Root Canal

First the decay that is present is removed from the tooth. Then the nerve and blood supply within the tooth is taken out of the root and replaced with material called gutta percha. This results in the tooth not feeling hot or cold anymore. The tooth is still alive by receiving nerve and blood from surrounding tissue. After the root canal is done the missing tooth structure is replaced with what is referred to as a build-up. A resin based material is used for this. Depending on the amount of teeth left a “post” maybe placed in the canal in order to add stability to the remaining structure. Majority of  cases a crown is recommended to protect the tooth and make sure it doesn’t get damaged from the stresses during eating and other functions.

With today’s dental technology this procedure is virtually painless and can usually be done within one visit. While most think a root canal is a traumatic experience, here at Hendersonville Family Dentistry we strive to make you as comfortable as possible and provide the best care for you and your tooth.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

Number One Cause Of Tooth Loss.

The number one cause of tooth loss in people over 35 is not tooth decay, The number one cause is periodontal (gum and bone) disease. Approximately 70% of teeth in people aged 35 and older is due to periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease can be classed in three stages.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

The first stage and easiest to treat, is gingivitis. Most of us have a pretty good understanding of what gingivitis is by watching ads on the television and seeing seeing ads in magazines.  Symptoms may include red, tender tissue around the teeth or an individual tooth, bleeding on flossing or brushing, bad breath, and pocket depths measured by your hygienist or dentist of 2-3mm.

The second stage of periodontal disease is progression from gingivitis to a situation where the disease causes increased infection of the gum tissue and now into the small ligaments that go around each tooth, creating a small separation between the tooth and the bone.

The last stage of periodontal disease, is classified as advanced. At this point, what may have been a localized infection around a few teeth results in a worsening of everything mentioned above. The disease is now where it can spread to the other teeth and that may not have been previously affected/infected.

The above is not good news if the disease is not diagnosed or treated. What is good news is that periodontal disease is treatable with great success if identified and treated early. It is very important to see Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones and even your dental hygienist at Hendersonville Family Dentistry and  follow their recommendations!