Posts for tag: tooth decay
The classic movie Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, still brings back sweet memories of childhood to people everywhere. Recently, the news broke that a remake of the beloved 1971 film is in now development in Hollywood. But at a reunion of the original cast members a few years ago, child star Denise Nickerson revealed that her role as gum-chewing Violet Beauregard caused a problem: she ended up with 13 cavities as a result of having to chew gum constantly during the filming!
It should come as no surprise that indulging in sugary treats can lead to cavities: The sugar in your diet feeds harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and other dental problems. Yet lots of kids (not to mention the child inside many adults) still crave the satisfaction that gum, candy and other sweets can bring. Is there any way to enjoy sweet treats and minimize the consequences to your oral health?
First, let’s point out that there are lots of healthy alternatives to sugary snacks. Fresh vegetables, fruits and cheeses are delicious options that are far healthier for you and your kids. Presenting a variety of appealing choices—like colorful cut-up carrots, bite-sized cheese bits and luscious-looking fruits and berries can make it easier (and more fun) to eat healthy foods. And getting kids off the sugar habit is a great way to help them avoid many health problems in the future.
For those who enjoy chewing gum, sugarless gum is a good option. In fact, chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of healthful saliva in the mouth, which can help neutralize the bacteria-produced acids that cause cavities. Gums that have the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance have passed clinical tests for safety and effectiveness.
But if you do allow sugary snacks, there are still a few ways to minimize the potential damage. Restrict the consumption of sweets to around mealtimes, so the mouth isn’t constantly inundated with sugar. Drink plenty of water to encourage saliva flow, and avoid sugary and acidic beverages like soda (even diet soda) and “sports” or “energy” drinks. Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. And don’t forget to visit our office regularly for routine checkups and cleanings. It’s the best way to get a “golden ticket” to good oral health.
If you would like more information about sugar, cavities and oral health, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Nutrition & Oral Health” and “The Bitter Truth About Sugar.”
A tooth abscess is nothing to fool around with. Learn the telltale signs that should have you going right to your dentist.
If you are experiencing dental pain, enough is enough. Toothaches don’t go away on their own, and can be so severe that it can affect how your chew or even wake you up at night. Before you let this pain persist, it’s time to visit our Lexington, MA dentist, Dr. Ramzi Antoine Sarkis, to find out if you are dealing with a tooth abscess.
What is a tooth abscess?
This is often the result of a tooth decay complication or of a small crack in the tooth. This can happen to a tooth that has become damaged, as bacteria can get inside the enamel and affect the inside of the tooth (also known as the dental pulp). When pus begins to form then you have an abscess.
What are the symptoms?
If you have a tooth abscess more likely than not you will know it. You may experience:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
- Severe and persistent dental pain
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Facial swelling
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to see your Lexington endodontist right away. The sooner you seek treatment the better.
How is it treated?
The ultimate goal is to eliminate the infection. To do this we drain the abscess and disinfect the area. We may also need to perform a root canal if the infection has reached the inside of the tooth. A root canal is designed to remove pus, bacteria and other debris from the inside of the tooth to preserve as much of it as possible.
However if the tooth is too far damaged, the only option left may be to extract the tooth and remove the abscess.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above then it’s time you turned to the dental experts at Lexington Endodontics in Lexington, MA. Don’t let an abscessed tooth affect your oral health for the long-term; nip the problem in the bud!