Friday, October 17, 2014

When is it time to replace a filling?

If you've ever gone to the dentist and were told you needed to get a filling, you're certainly not alone. Millions of people receive fillings each year in order to replace a section of a tooth that eventually decayed. However, even with modern dental advancements, all fillings need to be replaced at some point.

The Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that unless fillings are replaced in a timely manner, gaps can be created between the filling and the tooth, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth. Left untreated, that bacteria can result in the need of a root canal, or worse, removal of the entire tooth. To avoid these unpleasant consequences, it's a good idea to visit your dentist regularly so he or she can test the strength of your current fillings.

The American Dental Association makes it clear that early detection is vital because it reduces your chance of needing more intrusive and expensive procedures. Your dentist can tell you at your appointment if there has been excessive wear or cracks in a filling. In that case, you will need to get it replaced as soon as possible. Talk to your dentist about what's right for you and how long it will be before you should expect to replace one or more of your fillings.

Fortunately, modern technology has increased the quality and appearance of fillings, so if you do need to get a replacement, it will likely last longer and serve you better than your previous ones. And with your True Dental Discounts - dental plan, you will be able to get the treatments you need for a price you can afford.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Biting your tongue and cheeks

Everyone has accidentally bitten his tongue while eating or woken up with a small mark on the inside of his cheek. But what do you do if this nuisance becomes a common occurrence? Many people frequently bite the inside of their mouth during sleep or while eating, but the causes vary.

In some cases, it is due to misalignment of the teeth or poor denture fitting. In that situation, the teeth can overlap with the person’s tongue, increasing the chance of a bite. In other cases, a person may constantly breathe with his mouth open, leading to a slightly swollen tongue, which can again lead to accidental bites. In some rare cases, a person may also have seizures, causing him to involuntarily bite his tongue or cheek.

 Regardless of the reason, though, constant wounds in the mouth can become more than just annoying. Over time, biting can lead to scars and decreased sensitivity, so it is important to treat the bites properly and speak with a dentist about preventing future occurrences. He or she will help you identify the cause of the biting and hasten the time until you can eliminate the bites altogether.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, October 13, 2014

Conventional dentures vs. immediate dentures

In the event that you need dentures, you will likely be faced with a choice between conventional dentures and immediate dentures. As the name implies, immediate dentures are inserted right after the natural teeth are removed from the gums. Conventional dentures, on the other hand, are not inserted for about six to eight weeks, once the gums have healed.

According to the American Dental Association, dentists conduct a preliminary visit in order to make models of a patient’s jaws for immediate dentures. These dentures are helpful because the wearer does not have to go without teeth for weeks while waiting for the gums to heal.

However, one disadvantage is that gums and bones can shrink over time, requiring people to get immediate dentures refitted. Talk to a knowledgeable dentist on your True Dental Discounts - dental plan to figure out which option is better for you.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Signs of hearing loss in school

Many parents of children with hearing loss say they first realized there was a problem when their child started having issues in school. This situation is common because school requires children to integrate all of their senses and adapt them to a variety of activities. It is during this time that parents and teachers may notice a child is having difficulty hearing. According to the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center, adults should be alert for any of the following signs:

  • The child needs instructions repeated often; 
  • The child has a short attention span; 
  • The child has trouble recalling a sequence of instructions; 
  • The child frequently misinterprets a command or set of instructions; 
  • The child’s vocabulary is behind grade level; 
  • The child does not always look up when his name is called; 
  • The child has trouble learning the sounds of letters and phonics;
  • The child confuses words that sound alike; 
  • The child is withdrawn in the classroom and is hesitant to participate;
  • The child ignores assignments that are given verbally. 

These are only some of the warning signals that indicate a potential issue with hearing loss. If your child’s teacher reports seeing any of these things in the classroom, schedule a comprehensive examination with a pediatric audiologist on your True Dental Discounts - hearing plan. He or she will evaluate your child and help find a potential cause of any existing hearing loss.

An audiologist can also offer alternative learning methods help the child learn effectively and efficiently in school. With the help of school staff, parents can get an individualized education plan (IEP) for their child to make sure they have all the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What should I do in a dental emergency?

Although no one expects to find themselves in a situation that requires immediate dental treatment, the reality is that mouth-related emergencies are fairly common. Whether it’s a broken tooth, a nagging toothache, or a swollen jaw, you or your children may need an emergency appointment with your dentist. In the time before you get into the office, though, the American Dental Association offers suggestions about how to treat emergencies at home:

  • Broken tooth: Rinse mouth with warm water; apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. 
  • Severely bitten lip or tongue: Gently clean with a cloth; apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to the emergency room right away. 
  • Cracked tooth: Avoid any hot or cold beverages, as the tooth will be extremely sensitive to temperature. Do not chew on that side of the mouth. Call the dentist immediately. 
  • Broken jaw: Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Go to the dentist or emergency room right away.
  • Knocked-out tooth: Gently rinse the tooth in water if it is dirty – do not scrub! If possible, hold the tooth in its socket and drive to the dentist immediately. Otherwise, some experts recommend keeping the tooth in milk until you arrive. 
  • Toothache: Rinse mouth with warm water; gently floss to remove any pain-causing debris caught between the teeth. If desired, use an over-the-counter pain reliever; however, do NOT apply aspirin directly to the gum, as it may burn the tissue. Call your dentist if the pain does not subside.
  • Food or other objects caught between teeth: Gently use floss to remove the offending object. Never use a sharp object or cut your gums. If floss cannot solve the problem, call your dentist.

In all cases, it is best to contact a dentist in the event of a dental emergency. Most dentists, including the ones on your True Dental Discounts - dental plan, set aside time during their day to account for emergencies. When you call, explain your issue as thoroughly as possible so the dentist can be prepared for your arrival.

Most of the time, the problem will be easily diagnosed, and the dentist will inform you of any needed follow-up appointments to address the issue. For instance, a nagging toothache may be caused by tooth decay that the dentist can remove and fill.

Labels: , , , , ,