Why are my teeth sensitive?

Why do my teeth hurt with cold or hot foods, and drinks? They’re just really sensitive!

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Have you ever taken a big gulp of ice tea, or maybe it was hot coffee, and it set off crazy pain in some of your teeth? Sometimes, just simply bushing or flossing your teeth can be difficult due to sensitivity. Having sensitive teeth is not all that uncommon, and in this article we will look at some of the causes.

  • Tooth Decay – If you have fillings, over time they can weaken and cause leaking around the edges. This allows bacteria to accumulate, which leads to a build up of acid, and enamel breakdown. Under the enamel you will find microscopic canals that lead to the nerve of the tooth. Without the protective enamel layer, teeth are left vulnerable.
  • Brushing too hard – If you are using a hard bristled tooth brush like a handsaw, stop it! This will also lead to enamel breakdown.
  • Too Much Plaque – The purpose of flossing and brushing is to remove plaque build up. Again, this is another cause of enamel breakdown. It is important to visit a dentist regularly for cleanings.
  • Receding Gums – Receding gums will increase with age and lack of dental care. As a gum line recedes, it exposes some of the tooth that isn’t covered with enamel. Another pattern where enamel is involved!
  • Toothpaste & Mouthwash – Some toothpastes, especially those designed for tooth whitening, have various chemicals that people can be sensitive to.

You probably saw on this list the importance of tooth enamel, and how it protects the teeth. There are various causes for sensitive teeth, so be sure to consult with your dentist. If you have any concerns about your oral health, or are looking for a dentist in Edmond, contact Dr. Ballinger’s office to schedule an appointment!

Home Oral Care - Dentist In Edmond OK

Home Oral Care – Back To School

Now that school is back in session its time to get back to the basics of Home Oral Care!

Over the summer its easy to let things slide when it comes to taking care of our oral hygiene. We’re all guilty. Here are some tips from the ADA that can help us get back on track this school season. Attached below is a helpful PDF with some simple reminders. Be sure to print them off and place them somewhere visible for your student(s) to have as a reminder of what they should be doing everyday to keep their smile healthy and beautiful!

From the ADA – Introduction

Spending the right amount of time engaged in appropriate home oral care is undoubtedly essential to helping minimize the risk of caries and periodontal disease. An individual who visits the dentist twice a year for an oral exam and dental prophylaxis will spend approximately two hours per year in the dental chair. The time for that same person to brush and clean between his or her teeth each day might be estimated to be around 30 hours per year. Considering the amount of time that should be devoted to daily oral hygiene, it is important to understand the scientific evidence that supports home oral care recommendations made to patients.

In 2017, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs identified three aspects of home oral care that dentists should discuss with their patients:
General recommendations that are applicable to most people;
Personalized recommendations specifically targeted to meet the needs of the individual patient, especially patients at increased risk of caries and/or gingivitis; and
Lifestyle considerations to enhance oral health and wellness.
The general and personalized recommendations were developed in accordance with a rapid evidence assessment methodology,1 meaning that the evidence examined was derived from existing systematic reviews (Data on File). Lifestyle considerations comport with current ADA policy. This Oral Health Topic page is an executive summary of that work and relevant ADA policy.

General Recommendations for the Prevention of Caries and Gingivitis

1) Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
While a seemingly simple statement, the guidance for brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste weaves together a number of discrete components.

Toothbrushing frequency
Review of the scientific literature, along with guidance from governmental organizations and professional associations found sufficient evidence to support the contention that twice-daily brushing, when compared with lower frequencies, was optimal for reducing risk of caries, gingival recession or periodontitis. It is important to recognize that in these studies, it was the frequency of tooth-brushing with a fluoride toothpaste that was evaluated rather than tooth-brushing alone.

Fluoride toothpaste
Although the measures used to assess the benefit varied, studies examining the effect of over-the-counter (OTC) fluoride dentifrice on caries incidence in children and adolescents found the fraction of caries prevented ranged from 16% per tooth to 31% per surface versus placebo or no dentifrice, and concluded that fluoride-containing toothpaste was effective in caries control. In addition, high level evidence shows that 5,000 ppm fluoride (available with a prescription) results in significantly more arrest of root caries lesions than use of OTC levels of fluoride (1,000 – 1,500ppm).

Toothbrushing duration
Data examining the question of optimal duration of daily tooth-brushing encounters relies on plaque indices which are surrogate measures rather than direct measure of caries or gingivitis. Understanding that the use of surrogate measures decreases the certainty with which a recommendation can be made, the available systematic reviews found a brushing duration of two minutes was associated with bigger reduction in plaque than brushing for a single minute. Two minutes per whole mouth can also be expressed as thirty seconds per quadrant or about four seconds per tooth.

2) Clean between your teeth daily
While cleaning between teeth is important to maintaining oral health, it is a concept that must overcome several barriers to adoption. ”Flossing” is often used as a shorthand, common term for interdental cleaning, which can become problematic in the real world where many report a strong distaste for that particular activity. Some people presume flossing as ineffective or unnecessary, which can also make it harder for them to adopt the daily habit. Flossing is a technique-sensitive intervention14 as exemplified by the disparity in benefit observed when comparing study designs involving self-flossing and professional flossing. Where patients do not see positive results from flossing, they may not continue to do so.

Using flossing as shorthand for interdental cleaning can also be problematic in that patients may be unaware of alternative devices that may be more pleasant or effective for them. A meta-review, which included the available devices developed for this purpose (i.e. dental floss, interdental brushes, oral irrigators, and woodsticks), addressed the question “What is the effect of mechanical inter-dental plaque removal in addition to tooth brushing on managing gingivitis in adults?” The strength of the evidence on the benefit ranged from weak to moderate depending on the device in question.

Thus, there may not be one “best” interdental cleaning method; rather, the best method for any given patient may be one in which they will regularly perform. A guiding principle which is relevant to interdental cleaning is: “best care for each patient rests neither in clinician judgment nor scientific evidence but rather in the art of combining the two through interaction with the patient to find the best option for each individual.”

3) Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks
While eating a healthy diet is important for overall health and well-being, a review of the literature found little in terms of the effects of micronutrients on the risk of caries or periodontal disease. However, the conclusion of numerous systematic reviews on the effect of the macronutrient content of the diet, specifically of sugar, is that there is an association between sugar intake and caries. A review of the evidence supporting nine international guidelines recommending decreased consumption of sugar found consistent recommendations from all the groups while noting that they relied on different data and rationales.

4) See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease
Viewed through the prism of the primary prevention of caries and/or gingivitis, a systematic review of the literature failed to arrive at consensus regarding optimal recall frequency to minimize either caries or periodontal disease risk in part due to limited availability of studies addressing this topic. Nonetheless, in terms of the balance between resource allocation and risk reduction, it can be concluded that there is merit in tailoring a patient’s recall interval to individual need based on assessed risk of disease.

Previously, the ADA Healthy Smile Tips advised people to “Visit your dentist regularly.” However, dentists are doctors of oral health, which encompasses both the prevention and treatment of oral disease. The current recommendation goes a step further than its predecessor in articulating the duality of the dental visits. Dental care includes actions to reduce disease risk, as well as the formulation and execution of a treatment plan when disease is present.

Click Here to download your free Home Oral Care Guide!

To read the rest of this article from the ADA click here

Did you know these 5 facts about your teeth?!

Detect Oral Cancer Early - Dentist is Edmond OK

Detect Oral Cancer Early – What You Need To Know

The ADA has provided us with a very comprehensive study on how to detect oral cancer early.

Dental health is important for many reasons, but in this article we will be taking special focus on oral cancer. Through awareness we can help educate ourselves and others in order to prevent, detect and treat oral cancer. Here are some key points to take into consideration from the ADA website:

Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer

  • Although they border each other, the oral cavity (OC) and oropharynx (OP) are separate, nonoverlapping anatomic regions.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common malignancy in the OC and OP, accounting for 90% of cancers of the head and neck.
  • OC and OP cancers account for 2.9% of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. and 1.6% of all cancer deaths.
  • The 5-year relative survival rate for those with localized disease at diagnosis is 83%, compared with only 36% in patients whose cancer has metastasized.
  • The major risk factors for OC-SCC and OP-SCC are tobacco use, alcohol consumption, interaction between heavy use of tobacco and alcohol together, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and chewing betel quid (“paan,” often practiced in Asian, migrant Asian, and other communities).
  • The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) provides an oral cancer examination protocol for dental practitioners.

Risk Factors

The major risk factors for OC-SCC and OP-SCC are tobacco use, alcohol consumption, interaction between heavy use of tobacco and alcohol together,10, 11 and chewing betel quid (“paan,” often practiced in Asian, migrant Asian, and other communities). Ultraviolet exposure may be the likely risk factor associated with SCC of the lip. Older age and male sex also increase the risk of OC/OP-SCC.5Smoking-associated risk appears to be dose dependent and correlates with daily or cumulative cigarette consumption. For patients who quit smoking, the risk for OC-SCC and OP-SCC declines over time and may approach that of nonsmokers after 10 or more years of cessation. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection1 is a major risk factor for oropharyngeal cancer, rather than oral cancer (see following section “Focus on HPV”).

The increase of oral tongue SCC seen among young white women does not appear to be associated with either tobacco or alcohol use or HPV infection and has been suggested to have a different causative mechanism (e.g., genetic abnormalities such as Fanconi anemia, other oncogenic viral infections, or other environmental exposures). There is an increased risk for OC/OP-SCC in patients with certain rare heritable conditions, including Fanconi anemia, dyskeratosis congenita, and Bloom syndrome.

Signs and Symptoms

Two oral lesions that could be precursors to cancer are leukoplakia (white patches) and erythroplakia (red patches). Although there is a known potential for malignant transformation, the majority of leukoplakias will not progress to cancer. Some oral lesions will show a combination of red and white features, termed erythroleukoplakia, speckled leukoplakia, or speckled erythroplakia. Although less common than leukoplakia, erythroplakia and lesions with erythroplakic components have a much greater potential for becoming cancerous.

Because these white and/or red mucosal patches have an increased risk of becoming or already harboring invasive carcinoma, they have collectively been classified as “potentially malignant disorders.”1 Any white or red patch/lesion that does not resolve in 2 weeks should be reevaluated and considered for biopsy to obtain a definitive diagnosis.

OP-SCC develops most frequently in the tonsillar region and base of the tongue, often appearing as an ulcerated mass, fullness, or irregular erythematous mucosal change. OP-SCC tumors are thought to present at a more advanced stage than OC-SCC because of their ability to grow undetected and their propensity for metastasis. The most common chief complaints are the presence of a neck mass (from metastatic disease), sore throat, and dysphagia.

Other possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer that patients may report include:

  • a lump or thickening in the oral soft tissues
  • soreness or a feeling that something is caught in the throat
  • difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • ear pain
  • difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • hoarseness
  • numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth
  • swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable

Signs and symptoms that persist for 2 weeks or more merit further investigation, such as a biopsy or referral to a specialist.

To read the full article on the ADA website click here

Disclaimer from the ADA

Content on the Oral Health Topics section of ADA.org is for informational purposes only. Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy or position of the ADA; and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.

Should you go electric? Click Here to find out!

Electric Toothbrush?

Is it really a better option to brush with an electric toothbrush? In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using this method of brushing over it’s  manual counterpart.

Electric Toothbrush?

Long before the the invention of the toothbrush, people were using a variety of different methods to achieve oral health. Everything from chewing sticks to using feathers has been discovered. The first bristle toothbrush related to our modern invention, was discovered in China, and made from hog bristles. The toothbrush began to be mass produced in the United States in 1885, however brushing did not become routine until after WWII.

Here are some of the properties of both manual and electric toothbrushes:

  • Traditional – Manual toothbrushes can still get the job done. The goal of brushing is to remove plaque and debris from your teeth, without destroying tooth enamel or irritating the gum tissue. There are correct and incorrect ways to brush your teeth, especially with a manual toothbrush. As with any toothbrush, over time, the bristles can wear out, causing brushings to be less effective. When using a traditional toothbrush, people will sometimes brush too hard. Brushing too hard with a manual brush is not only hard on your teeth but also on your gums, leading to gum issues
  • Electric Toothbrush – An electric toothbrush uses motion and pressure from the brush itself so the bristles can reach further. In fact, most of these brushes are set on a certain time, which makes for longer brushing, better brushing and a cleaner mouth. When using a manual toothbrush, there is a tendency to brush too hard, causes enamel break down. With an electric toothbrush, it will do the work for you! They are also a great way to fight gum disease and bad breath. A good electric toothbrush can lead to a great improvement in a person’s overall oral health. Remember, if you hav any questions about dental care or need to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact Ballinger Family Dentistry!
Dentist in Edmond

Dentist in Edmond: Replacing Missing Teeth

Dentist in Edmond: Why you should get missing teeth replaced

Your Dentist in Edmond sees patient all the time who have lost teeth over the course of their lives. The most common complaint from patients with missing teeth has to do with their concern about the appearance of missing teeth and the self-esteem loss as a result. If you’ve lost a tooth you might want to consider having a dental implant put in, something your Dentist in Edmond can recommend. Having a dental implant put in to replace a missing tooth can help prevent bone loss in the jaw as well as restore a patient’s smile in a way that looks natural and doesn’t have the drawbacks of a dental bridge or dentures.
There are many reasons why a person might have lost a tooth, here are some of the more common:
  • Getting a tooth knocked out due to injury or trauma to the mouth is one of the most common ways a person might lose a tooth.
  • Tooth decay or cavities that have progressed too far to be fixed is also another common way people lose teeth.
  • There are certain hereditary conditions that can cause tooth loss.
  • A failed root canal or a root canal poorly performed can cause a tooth to be lost.
  • Chemotherapy is also a cause of tooth loss.

Why should I get missing teeth replaced?

General health and well being is probably the most common reason you should have your teeth replaced if they’ve been lost. Once a tooth or teeth are lost it can make eating certain foods difficult, avoiding foods can impact your general health. It’s also important to understand that if there is not tooth attaching to the jaw bone the jaw bone will begin to weaken in that spot and can lead to pain in surrounding teeth.

Dentist in Edmond

Dentist in Edmond: Zoom Teeth Whitening

Dentist in Edmond: Should you get your teeth whitened with zoom?

Your Dentist in Edmond provides Zoom Whitening for patients looking to whiten their smiles. Zoom Whitening is an in-office whitening procedure, unlike the whitening kits you can take home Zoom requires a pre-procedure evaluation and teeth cleaning at your dentist’s office. During the procedure, your Dentist in Edmond will ensure to cover all a patient’s lips and gums before applying a hydrogen peroxide whitening gel. The nex step in the Zoom process involves using a special light to break up stains and discoloration on the tooths surfaces. The is no anesthesia required for the procedure so patients are free to watch TV or listen to music.

What is Tooth Whitening?

Whitening a patient teeth is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that removes stains and discoloration, the end result being the patient has a whiter and more confident smile. It’s one of the single most popular dental procedures and range in complexity from dental visits and consultations to-do-it-yourself kits that you can take home. The reason that tooth whitening is so popular is due to the easy nature of the procedure as well as the immediately visible results. Tooth whitening is extremely cost-effective compared to other procedures one might use to get perfectly white teeth.

Why would you need Tooth Whitening?

Maybe you’re ready for a change or you’re doing some self-improvement,  either way, yellow or stained teeth are a common problem that most adults will develop during their lives. Tooth enamel is designed to protect the interior of the tooth from the effects of chewing, biting, plaque bacteria, and sugar. Even with proper care, a person’s teeth can start to show signs of wear. Coffee drinkers and smokers will see stains on their teeth develop over time. Most of these surface issues can be improved with teeth whitening procedure, which is why your Dentist in Edmond offers Zoom Whitening.

 

Dentist in Edmond Partial Dentures

Dentist in Edmond: Removable partial dentures

Dentist in Edmond: What to Expect with Removable Partial Dentures

Partial Dentures usually consist of replacement teeth that will be attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases. This insert will be designed specifically to fit your mouth to prevent chafing or other complications. A partial denture will often have a metal framework and clasps that connect to the neighboring teeth, though this will not always be the case. There is also a range of different connectors that can appear more natural. The partial denture is connected to the natural teeth with devices called Precision Attachments, these attachments are more aesthetic than clasp, however. In some cases, crowns will need to be placed in order to make everything fit correctly.

Dentist in Edmond: What should you expect from partial dentures?

Your Dentist in Edmond has some tips on what to expect if you receive partial dentures.

  1. You Dentist in Edmond will make sure your partial dentures are a good fit for your mouth, with that said they may feel awkward or bulky at first, this is normal.
  2. Inserting and removing the partial dentures will take practice, be patient with yourself in learning this new processes.
  3. Follow the instructions your dentist gives you, this is your best chance for success. Your Dentist in Edmond recommends that they should fit into place with ease, don’t force them.

Tips on how to care for your dentures:

  1. You will need a cleaner specifically for your dentures, your dentist will be able to recommend one.
  2. When you’re cleaning a partial denture it’s important to make sure your sink drain is plugged or that you’re cleaning it over a paper towel, just in case you drop it.
  3. Just because you use toothpaste on your teeth doesn’t mean it’s meant for your dentures. Make sure to use the specialty cleaner recommended by your dentist.

 

Dentist in Edmond

Dentist in Edmond: Five Fact about your Teeth

Dentist in Edmond: How well do you know your teeth?

You Dentist in Edmond is always looking for new ways to educate patients, with that in mind here are five facts about your teeth you may or may not know.

1. How strong is your bite?

On average you jaw can exert 200 pounds of pressure when you bite down. Our amazing jaw strength might inspire us to use our teeth as tools to hold or open things with our mouths. You Dentist in Edmond sees plenty of cases where people have chipped their teeth this way. We always recommend using your teeth to chew food and not use them as tools.

2. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body!

The enamel the covers the outside of your teeth and gives you that shiny white color is stronger than the bones inside your body. Your tooth enamel is 96% mineral, which is the high percentage of any tissue in the body. The high mineral percentage makes it durable and resistant to damage, though not impervious.

3. How long can you teeth last?

Teeth can last for hundreds of years thanks to the durability of the tooth enamel. Some of the more interesting things we know about history come from the teeth of our ancestors. We know that the first settlers that left Africa for Asia set out as many as 80,000 years ago.

4. Not as strong as an X-Man

Unlike Wolverine from the X-Men, your teeth can heal on their own.  Unlike most other tissue in our bodies, your teeth won’t regenerate over time. When your teet hare damaged your Dentist in Edmond will repair them using fillings, crowns, or other means to repair them.

 

5. It takes dedication to help your teeth

Your teeth are strong but they can resist decay on their own. The Grand Canyon was carved out with just water, your teeth are constantly fending off bacteria and dietary acids. Luckily all you have to do to protect them is brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day!

 

Dentist in Edmond: Which dental products to choose

Dentist in Edmond: The ADA and dental products

With so many dental products out there you may be at a loss to figure out which one is best for you and your family. The first place your Dentist in Edmond recommends you start your search is with the American Dental Association’s seal of approval. The American Dental Association makes its selections and recommendations based on science. Each product that has the ADA’s Seal of approval has been scientifically evaluated by experts independent of the products and companies they’re evaluating. When being considered for the ADA’s seal of approval the Association asks companies to often meet higher standards than what is required by law. The products that fail to meet their standards will not receive the Seal of approval, it’s that simple.

What products fall under the ADA?

The ADA considers products that cover the entire dental spectrum, beyond toothpaste and toothbrushes. The ADA reviews hundreds of products, recently the ADA has expanded, encompassing products like water flossers, white strips, and toothpastes and brushes that help prevent the erosion of enamel due to dietary acids. The ADA has even expanded outside the bathroom to included products like water filters for the kitchen and mouthguards for sports.

Which products to pick?

Your Dentist in Edmond doesn’t recommend products online, we like to remain impartial in order to be your trusted Dentist in Edmond. Our goal is to empower our patients by helping them make the best decisions regarding their dental health. If you need help finding products that contain the ADA seal of approval here is a list compiled by mouthhealthy.org. If you like what we do please consider sharing our article online as it helps people find us and helps us provide solid information to our patients. If you’d like to make an appointment you can find our contact information here.

Dentist in Edmond: Pregnancy and your Dental Health

Do you need to change your routine?

Your Dentist in Edmond has received questions in the past regarding pregnancy and changes in dental routine. If you’re brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing your teeth once a day, then the answer is usually no. If you happen to be slipping in the frequency of brushing or flossing then now is a great time to start. With all the appointments you have to make while being pregnant getting a cavity filled is not one of them.

Dentist in Edmond: Other questions

Is it safe to see the dentist while you’re pregnant?

Absolutely! In fact, your Dentist in Edmond may suggest coming in for extra cleaning in later stages of pregnancy in order to control gingivitis. Make sure to let your dentist know how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Why are your gums bleeding?

The increased level of hormones in a pregnant woman body can make her gum more susceptible to gingivitis. It is most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy and should go away once she has the baby.

Is it true you lose a tooth with each baby?

You Dentist in Edmond has heard many healthcare myths, this one included. You may, however, feel like your teeth are a little loose. The Mayo Clinic suggests that the elevated levels of progesterone and estrogen can loosen the ligaments and bone that keeps your teeth in place. This goes away in most cases.

Struggling with morning sickness.

Unfortunately “Morning sickness” can happen at any point during the day. You Dentist in Edmond suggests that you rinse your mouth out with water before brushing your teeth. This ensures your not scrubbing your teeth with stomach acid.

You Dentist in Edmond loves your questions!

If you need advice about your dental care or just need to schedule an appointment you can contact us here.