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Posts for: October, 2014

By Karls Family Dentistry
October 27, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: cavity   fillings  
Dental Exam ImageTooth decay is one of the most common dental problems amongst adults and children, but many patients don’t think it is too detrimental to their oral health. It’s because patients expect a restorative treatment (fillings) to remove and refill the tooth, and that’s a possibility, but it’s not always guaranteed. 
There times when tooth decay becomes too severe to just require a filling.

What’s Severe Tooth Decay?

Severe tooth decay depends on how much and how deep the decay has affected the tooth. There are three layers to the tooth:
  • Enamel – hard outer layer
  • Dentin – middle layer
  • Pulp – center of the tooth
Mild decay is when the enamel is affected and tiny cavities are present. For moderate decay, there will be larger areas of enamel erosion and the dentin may be exposed. 
So severe decay involves the center of the tooth where the pulp is located, and pain (toothache) is more apparent at this stage. Patients become more sensitive to temperature change, experience swelling of gums and have sensitivity to food and beverages touching the decayed area. 
If tooth decay isn’t taken care of as soon as possible, bacteria will break down the enamel until it reaches the pulp. This can cause an infection and damage the tooth’s foundation. 

How does it affect Your Oral Health? 

Many patients tend to push back dental appointments, and that’s when the decay continues to go unnoticed and covers more of the tooth’s surface area. 
A serious tooth infection may need to be extracted or require a root canal. 
The further along decay develops, the risk to your oral health will rise. 

Contact Karls Family Dentistry To Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Are you exhibiting signs of tooth decay? Please call Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, WI—(608) 849-4100. We can help you solve your dental issues. 

By Karls Family Dentistry
October 24, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: bad breath  

We all experience the occasional bout of bad breath from dry mouth or after eating certain foods. Chronic halitosis, on the other hand, could have an underlying health cause like periodontal (gum) disease, sinus infections or even systemic illnesses like diabetes. Anyone with persistent halitosis should undergo a thorough examination to determine the root cause.

If such an examination rules out a more serious cause, it’s then possible the particular population of bacteria that inhabit your mouth (out of a possible 600 or more strains) and your body’s response makes you more susceptible to halitosis. After feeding on food remnants, dead skin cells or post-nasal drip, certain types of bacteria excrete volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that give off an odor similar to “rotten eggs.”

In this case, we want to reduce the bacterial population through plaque removal, which in turn reduces the levels of VSCs. Our approach then is effective oral hygiene and perhaps a few cleanings — the basics every person should practice for good oral health — along with a few extra measures specific to chronic halitosis.

This calls for brushing and flossing your teeth daily. This will remove much of the plaque, the main breeding and feeding ground for bacteria, that has accumulated over the preceding twenty-four hours. In some cases, we may also recommend the use of an interproximal brush that is more adept in removing plaque clinging to areas between the teeth.

You may also need to pay special attention in cleaning another oral structure contributing to your bad breath — your tongue. The back of the tongue in particular is a “hideout” for bacteria: relatively dry and poorly cleansed because of its convoluted microscopic structure, bacteria often thrive undisturbed under a continually-forming tongue coating. Simply brushing the tongue may not be enough — you may also need to use a tongue scraper, a dental device that removes this coating. (For more information, see the Dear Doctor article, “Tongue Scraping.”)

Last but not least, visit our office for cleanings and checkups at least twice a year. Professional cleanings remove bacterial plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) you’re unable to reach and remove with daily hygiene measures. Following this and the other steps described above will go a long way toward eliminating your bad breath, as well as enhancing your total oral health.

If you would like more information on treating chronic bad breath, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More Than Just Embarrassing.”

By Karls Family Dentistry
October 21, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Chipped Tooth   Enamel  
We’re all looking for ways to preserve our beautiful smiles. Whether you’ve been lucky enough to be graced with a naturally perfect set of teeth or you’ve worked hard to get your smile the way it is, you want to ensure that it continues to be its very best. From sports injuries to poor diets, there are a number of ways you could injure and chip your teeth. However, your dentist in Waunakee, WI is here to recommend some ways to reduce your chance of chipping a tooth.

Smile ImageWatch What You Eat

I know it seems like a rather obvious rule, but it’s often ignored. As a Waunakee dentist I’ve seen it all. A lot of chipped teeth occur because someone was crunching on ice or a large piece of candy. Avoid crunching down on hard foods that could possibly cause fractures to your teeth, and as a general rule, never chew ice.
Also avoid chewing pen caps and opening bottle caps with your teeth. This will only wear away your teeth faster.

Protect Your Mouth

If you’re an avid athlete it’s important to protect your mouth from potential injury. In fact, about 13 percent to 39 percent of dental injuries are sports related. Don’t become part of that statistic. Trust me, you don’t want to have to rush in for emergency dentistry in Waunakee. Wear your mouth guard and save yourself an extra trip to our office. Talk to us, your Waunakee, WI family dentist, about how we can create a custom mouth guard to fit you or your child’s needs.

Find Out if You’re a Tooth Grinder

You might not know it, but you could be a tooth grinder. A lot of people grind their teeth at night, which can wear away the tooth and make it prone to chipping. However, your dentist in Waunakee has the solution! A night guard can be worn at bedtime to stop this pesky little habit. These custom-made guards are comfortable and protect your teeth from continual wear and tear from grinding.

Strengthen Your Enamel

If you want strong teeth then you need to strengthen the enamel. When enamel weakens it’s prone to chipping and cavities. Ward away these problems by adding remineralizing gels to your hygiene regime. These gels contain fluoride and calcium phosphate, which help remineralize tooth enamel. Add this to your nightly teeth-cleaning regime, and you’ll be sure to notice a difference in your teeth.

Call Karls Family Dentistry For More Information

Unfortunately, for some of us, we’ll still have to deal with a damaged tooth in our lifetime. When that happens, be sure to call Karls Family Dentistry, your dentist in Waunakee, at (608) 849-4100. We are ready to attend to any dental situation, emergency or routine.
Have you had a tooth chipped? How did you get it repaired? Let us know!

By Karls Family Dentistry
October 09, 2014
Category: Oral Health

When it comes to dental health, you might say celebrity interior designer and television host Nate Berkus is lucky: Unlike many TV personalities, he didn't need cosmetic dental work to achieve — or maintain — his superstar smile. How did he manage that? Nate credits the preventive dental treatments he received as a youngster.

“I'm grateful for having been given fluoride treatments and sealants as a child. Healthy habits should start at a young age,” he told an interviewer from Dear Doctor magazine. We couldn't have said it better — but let's take a moment and examine exactly what these treatments do.

Fluoride treatment — that is, the topical (surface) application of a concentrated fluoride gel to a child's teeth — is a procedure that's often recommended by pediatric dentists. Although tooth enamel is among the hardest substances in nature, fluoride has been shown to make it more resistant to tooth decay. And that means fewer cavities! Studies show that even if you brush regularly and live in an area with fluoridated water, your child could still benefit from the powerful protection of fluoride treatments given at the dental office.

Another potent defense against cavities is dental sealants. Despite your child's best efforts with the toothbrush, it's still possible for decay bacteria to remain in the “pits and fissures” of the teeth — those areas of the molars, for example, which have tiny serrated ridges and valleys where it's easy for bacteria to grow. Dental sealants fill in and protect vulnerable areas from bacterial attack, greatly decreasing the risk that future dental treatment will be required.

Why not take a tip from our favorite celebrity interior designer, and ask about cavity-preventing treatments for your children's teeth? If you would like more information about fluoride treatments or dental sealants, please contact us for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Topical Fluoride” and “Sealants for Children.”