Samaritan Endodontics

5 Foods to Avoid so you Don’t Crack a Tooth!

teeth Nothing’s worse than a cracked tooth. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but also the most brittle. If you have large restorations or fillings you may be extra susceptible to cracking a tooth if you bite into something unexpected. Below are 5 foods to watch out for that can cause some serious dental damage.

Popcorn
While most of the time soft, popcorn can have hidden hard kernels. One wrong crunch might cause a crack in your tooth that can send you straight to the dentist. While popcorn is a delicious snack, eat it carefully to avoid biting into an unexpected corn kernel!

Candy
A usual suspect when it comes to tooth damage. Candies such as jaw breakers, jolly ranchers, or even lollypops can cause havoc on your teeth. If eaten how they are intended, they may be harmless, but when bitten into the effects can be disastrous. Softer candies such as taffy, starburst, or even jellybeans can cause dental damage as well.

Breads
Most wouldn’t consider bread to be a threat to your teeth, but hard breads can be a real dental destroyer. Baguettes, Sour Dough, or even biscotti can cause damage if too hard and crunchy. Try opting for a softer bread and take smaller bites if you’re indulging in sourdough.

Olive Pits
Whether it was hidden in your food or processed incorrectly, olive pits are notorious for cracking teeth. Next time you have one of these decadent snacks, make sure it has been pitted and is safe to eat!

Ice
Although this is not technically food, chewing on ice cubes can be especially harmful to your teeth. If you are trying to hydrate using an ice cube, suck on it instead of crunching. This rule also goes for popsicles!

Being mindful of how you bite into foods can spare your smile. Small nibbles can save your pearly whites! But if you do find yourself with an unexpected cracked tooth, call our office @ Main Office Phone Number 408-358-8777 to schedule an appointment.

5 Dental tips for a healthy Halloween

ghostHalloween is a time for fun, tricks, and best of all TREATS! It can be hard to avoid sweet temptations, especially with the amount of leftover candy that accumulates after the big day. While eating candy on Halloween is perfectly fine, it is important to have a game plan in order to not go overboard. Your teeth will thank you later.

1. Wait until a few days before Halloween to buy the candy!
One of the hardest parts of this time of year can be waiting until the day of Halloween to indulge in candy. You might find yourself sneaking into that bag of candy you bought ahead of time. Save some for the trick-or-treaters! To avoid the temptation, try buying the candy the day before Halloween, out of sight out of mind!

2. Eat Halloween treats shortly after mealtime.
When you are going to eat candy, get your fix with or shortly after a meal. According to the ADA, saliva production increases during meals. This can help cancel out the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles. Eating candy post mealtime will help reduce the residue that causes tooth decay.

3. Avoid hard and or sticky candies.
Hard and sticky candies are the worst Halloween offenders. Hard and sticky candies can remain in your mouth for longer periods of time. How long a sugary treat stays in your mouth effects your oral health. The sticker the candy, the longer it will take for your saliva to wash away the sticky residue.

4. Brush twice a day.
It is extra important to make sure you’re brushing twice a day while consuming sugary treats, but this should be a rule of thumb you follow every day! Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes to ensure your teeth are taken care of.

5. Drink more water:
It’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water, especially when you are eating sugar. Fluoridated water helps fight cavities and prevent tooth decay!

While oral health should be taken seriously, you should always remember to have fun. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about how to have a healthy Halloween!

4 Reasons Why You Might Need a Root Canal

girl with hair in faceThere are several contributing factors when a person needs a Root Canal. While these telltale signs are not the most pleasant, they should not be ignored if you want to avoid more pain and complications. The most significant reason you might question whether to visit your dentist or not is if you have a throbbing, warm pain that lingers and does not go away. Sensitivity to hot and cold foods is an indicator as well when it does not go away after the hot or cold stimuli is removed. There are many reasons why pain and sensitivity become more noticeable and sometimes unbearable.

Here are three reasons why you might need a root canal.

• Deep Decay: When a cavity is left untreated, the bacteria will eat through healthy tooth enamel and infect the pulp chamber in the root canals, which can cause a warm or hot feeling accompanied by pain. Sometimes the infection can be so great after spreading that there will be swelling near the infected area.

• Grinding: Constant grinding and clenching will cause cracks in a tooth and open a path for bacteria to travel down to the roots, infecting the soft tissue or pulp and causing them to become inflamed and needing treatment. In the case of teeth grinding, the wear and tear causes tooth enamel (the protective layer on teeth) to thin and sometimes expose dentin, the layer beneath it.

• Old Filling: An old filling might be another entry point for bacteria to enter and infect the pulp chamber. Constant use of our teeth may cause a filling to fall out leaving the tooth and its decay exposed and vulnerable.

Whether a cavity, constant grinding or an old filling is the culprit for your pain, one thing is for sure! You are going to want to get rid of the pain as soon as possible. Call our office today408-358-8777 for a consultation.

3 Reasons You Should Save Your Natural Teeth

smilingWhen an issue arises regarding your teeth there are plenty of options to consider, root canal therapy being one of them. It’s important to understand how each procedure will affect you as well as comparing the pros and cons. First and foremost, your priority should be to do whatever it takes to save your natural teeth. Here are a few of the reasons why!

Authentic Smile: There is nothing like having an all-natural and organic smile with all of your beautiful teeth intact. Once you begin the process of replacing your natural teeth it can become more apparent in your smile that they aren’t all the same. Keeping the original structure and alignment of your natural teeth will ensure that your teeth won’t shift causing more problems to arise in the future.

Cost Effective: It all comes down to two options, either saving your natural tooth or extracting it. The initial cost of root canal therapy compared to extraction will have you leaning towards the latter but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most cost-effective choice in the long run. Tending to your roots is an investment in your natural teeth that will help you keep them for a lifetime while extracting them is just a quick fix. If you decide to remove the tooth, the expenses don’t stop there. There are a variety of pricey options available for you to replace your teeth that involve upkeep and possible future replacements.

Less Dietary Restrictions: If you choose the natural teeth route you will be able to maintain normal biting force without restricting yourself of all your favorite foods. Artificial teeth are more sensitive with a higher probability of being damaged with certain fruits, vegetables and meats. Keeping your natural teeth will help you continue living a natural and normal lifestyle.

If you’re ready to save your natural teeth, give our office a call today! 408-358-8777

National Ice Cream Month: Fun Facts About Your Favorite Summer Treat!

 

fun ice cream facts

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Flashback to when you were a child on a hot summer day, when all of the sudden you hear that magical jingle that captivated all of our hearts; the ice cream truck! In the year 1984, President Ronald Reagan decided that from then on out, the Month of July would be recognized as National Ice Cream Month! Because really, what’s better than a big, cold, scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day? That was a trick question—there is nothing better. Whether it’s vanilla, chocolate, mint chip, or pistachio, there’s a flavor for everyone. Ice cream has that ability to brighten anybody’s day and for that, we’re eternally grateful. With that being said, let’s celebrate this month by highlighting some of the most fun facts about ICE CREAM!

#1: The best way to eat ice cream? In a waffle cone of course! However, it wasn’t until 1904 when an American ice cream vendor at World’s Fair in Missouri ran out of cups due to the high demand of guests, so he quickly rushed on over to a local waffle vendor and asked him to roll up his waffles so that they could hold the ice cream. The rest is history!

#2: Do us a favor really quick. Open your Freezer. Is there at least one form of ice cream in there? There should be! In fact, approximately 98% of all U.S families have ice cream in their homes at ALL TIMES! So, if your freezer is lacking, run to your local grocery store and pick up a pint so you’re not the odd one out!

#3: Brain freezes…. Ice cream’s arch nemesis. A brain freezes is a short-lasting sensation, normally lasting for about ten seconds, that often occurs when you eat or drink cold items in a short amount of time. The most tried and true way to get rid of a brain freeze? Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and wait it out!

#4: Did you know one that one of the biggest ingredients in ice cream is AIR? That’s right, air. Air is added cream to make the consistency lighter, while also improving the texture. It’s often said that the amount of air added to the batch will determine the overall quality (the more air, the cheaper the quality).

#5: Throwback to the year 1665, when the first documented ice cream recipe was handwritten in a recipe book. The ingredients? Orange flower water, mace, and ambergris, also known as whale barf. Let’s just say we sure are grateful for how far the flavors have evolved….

This month, we want you to enjoy all that ice cream has to offer. We challenge you to try a new flavor that may be out of your comfort zone; who knows…maybe it’ll be your new favorite. Give us a call at Main Office Phone Number 408-358-8777 if you have any questions or concerns regarding your oral health!

What Can Good Oral Health Prevent?

sunflowerWhen it comes to your teeth, practicing good oral hygiene should be at the top of your list. We only have one set of fully grown adult teeth that we use in every aspect of our lives. When we see family, friends and even strangers, one-third of the time our teeth are the first thing they notice. Having a well taken care of smile can make the difference in your social life. Aside from your teeth’s appearance, between meals and snacking, our teeth are constantly working for us. So, what are you doing to improve your teeth? Good oral health can prevent several undesirable dental traits and problems.

Making sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, scrape your tongue, floss daily and gargle with mouthwash twice daily can prevent bad breath caused from plaque and food build-up. Gum disease can be prevented by regularly flossing around the gums and teeth to loosen build-up and plaque that irritate the gums and cause cavities. Don’t let neglecting to maintain these oral health habits keep you from becoming a social butterfly.

Cavities are a pain. The toothache that comes from biting into a sugary treat can be enough to jumpstart your new oral health habits. In caring for your teeth, you can dramatically reduce the number of cavities that develop from the acid and bacteria left from foods, especially sweet ones.

Keeping your oral health in check may also inhibit costly dental procedures from accumulating. A cavity that is left untreated can quickly turn into a tooth in dire need of a root canal, and developing gum disease may require gum laser therapy or tooth extraction. Most certainly, teeth that are well taken care of will have less plaque build-up that causes bad breath, cavities and gum disease, and better oral health could potentially prevent overwhelming dental expenses in the future.

Want to know more about what good oral health can do for you? Give us a call to find out, and schedule your checkup today!408-358-8777

Getting to The Root of Your Tooth Pain

tooth painHas your dentist mentioned that you are in need of a root canal? Though this may sound alarming, root canals are a routine and fairly pain-less procedure. Millions of root canal treatments are performed each year. If your dentist has recommended a root canal treatment, you probably have a lot of questions. Below are a few frequently asked questions about the procedure to help you.

Root Canal FAQs:

What is a root canal?

A root canal, also called “endodontic treatment”, is used to remove infection from the roots of the tooth and relieve dental pain. It is a very important procedure because it allows us to save your natural teeth so that you can keep them longer! Natural teeth are far superior to anything that we can manufacturer.

Why do I need a root canal?

A root canal becomes necessary when the pulp inside of the tooth becomes inflamed or infected. This can occur for many different reasons including: tooth decay, gum disease, a cracked tooth or another form of trauma. Typical symptoms that you may experience when needing a root canal are: prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tooth pain and tenderness and possible tooth discoloration. In some cases, there may be no symptoms. Your dentist or endodontist will inform you if you need root canal therapy.

How is the procedure done?

A root canal is performed by removing the infected pulp from inside of the tooth. Once the infected pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth is disinfected and filled to seal the tooth. Once the tooth is sealed, a crown will be placed over the tooth to protect your newly restored tooth.

Will I need additional treatments?

After your root canal is performed, additional treatment is not typically needed. However, you will need to continue to practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular visits to your dentist to keep your natural tooth for life!

If you have tooth pain or have been told by your dentist that you may need endodontic therapy, please call our friendly team at Main Office Phone Number 408-358-8777.

Make A Difference on the Scale and in Your Mouth

make a differenceOne of the biggest topics that people buzz about is losing a few pounds and making healthier decisions when it comes to food. But did you know that making those changes could not only make a difference on the scale but also in your mouth?

Here are 3 food tips that bring benefits to your body and your mouth.

  1. Meal Planning: When you’re meal planning, you are taking the time to choose healthier options. You won’t be wondering what your next meal will be and you won’t be choosing fattier, sugary foods. Keep in mind when you are planning to always have a protein, vegetable and grain. You will find yourself eating a fully balanced and healthy meal and saving money by not eating out.
  2. H20 on the Go: you might have chosen the soda over water, but lately, flavored water is the trendy choice. You can buy flavored water or create your own. Cut up some fruits like lemons and strawberries, add those to your water and let it sit overnight. The next day you can grab this flavor-packed water and not feel bad while drinking it. Not only are you staying hydrated, but you aren’t consuming all the sugar that comes in one can on soda.
  3. Snacking Smart: We all love to snack, but you may find that during your snacking time, you tend to choose unhealthy options. Surround yourself with healthy snacks that you won’t feel guilty about eating after and snacks that you will enjoy. Cut up some veggies on the weekend and create snack packs that are easy to grab on the go. Hard-boil some eggs, cheese sticks, individual yogurts, a variety of nuts, the list could go on. Mix and match and make different snack packs. If you are surrounding yourself with better choices, then you will be more likely to eat them!

These three tips might not seem like a big difference, but in the end you will notice that you look and feel heathier. Not only will your body thank you, but so will your mouth. If you have more questions about what foods are good for your body and your mouth, contact our office at Main Office Phone Number 408-358-8777.

What is an Apioectomy?

api-whatThere are times when root canal therapy simply isn’t enough to clean out all of the infected tissue. If this is the case, you may be in need of an apicoectomy. What’s that you may ask? Let me tell you!

An apicoectomy will only be considered after the patient has already undergone a root canal and does not have the option of retreatment. The procedure can also be referred to as endodontic microsurgery, because it is often performed under a microscope. The up close and personal approach allows for the endodontist to see the area more clearly and increases the chance of a successful procedure.

During standard root canal treatment, we clean the canals, which allows for blood and nerve vessels to travel to the pulp chamber, and we remove the infected tissue. Root canals can be very complicated, for there are many branches off of the main canal, and sometimes hard-to-reach, infected tissue can remain in these branches. This could possibly prevent healing or could cause the pulp to get infected again. This is why patients who need retreatment may be the perfect candidates for endodontic microsurgery, or an apicoectomy.

In an apicoectomy, the root tip and infected tissue are removed and a filling is placed over the root tip. Your endodontist will then place a few stitches in the gums to allow for healing. A few weeks after the procedure, your bone will heal around the root tip.

This is a safe and effective procedure and is only recommended when root canal retreatment is no longer an option. We want to do everything we can to preserve your natural tooth for as long as possible!

Please call us today to find out more about what endodontists do and get your tooth pain taken care of, once and for all! Main Office Phone Number 408-358-8777

5 Tips for a Healthier Smile

woman smiling with fruitSometimes we skip a tooth brushing every now and then, which may seem like no big deal. While, in the grand scheme of things, it may seem like missing a tooth brushing here in there isn’t the end of the world, it may lead to unhealthy dental habits, which eventually could result in serious dental damage! By adopting healthy, regular dental habits, you can lower your chance of tooth decay and cavities. Here are some helpful tips towards a healthy, happier smile!

Brush and Floss Regularly:

You should brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once. If you want to have impeccable oral hygiene, you may also brush your teeth after each meal or snack. If brushing isn’t a post-meal option for you, thoroughly rinsing your mouth with water will help as well.

Use Mouthwash:

Using mouthwash twice a day after brushing is a great way wash away leftover bacteria and give your mouth that super clean feel.

Eat Tooth-healthy Foods:

Believe it or not, there are certain foods that are good for your teeth and will help to strengthen them and fight against bacteria and plaque build-up. Some foods that will benefit your dental health include but are not limited to: fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, unsweetened coffee, tea, and sugar-free gum.

Make Routine Dental Visits:

Professional teeth cleanings and dental check-ups should be scheduled for every six months. If you have a history of dental issues, or if you know you need special attention, visiting your dentist more often than every six months may be best for you.

Consider Dental Sealants:

During your next dental visit, ask about dental sealants. Dental sealants will seal up small grooves and nooks in your teeth, preventing bacteria build-up in those hard to reach places. They can also help prevent tooth decay and can last up to ten years with proper dental care!

If you have any questions about your oral health, please give us a call at Main Office Phone Number 408-358-8777.