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Chipped Teeth

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A chipped tooth is one of the most common dental injuries seen at our Federal Way dentistry clinic. They are easy to come upon, be it from tooth decay, an impact to your face, or biting off more than you can chew. Should this happen, it is important that you get your damaged tooth repaired as quickly as possible in order to restore the functionality of your mouth and stave off further damage.

The process that goes into repairing your tooth depends on how severe the damage is. If the damage does not penetrate into the sensitive pulp inside your tooth, you may be able to get away with a simple crown or similar structure. However, if the pulp has been damaged, you may need to have a root canal, followed by a crown or veneer. See your dentist for more information.

Bulimia vs. Your Teeth

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Bulimia is an unfortunate condition wherein an individual feels the need to vomit after eating in order to prevent the food from being absorbed and contributing to weight gain. It is obviously highly unhealthy, depriving your system of important nutrients. However, it comes with some additional drawbacks that you may not suspect. Indeed, while the bulimic individual is attempting to preserve the appearance of her body, she’s sacrificing the appearance of her teeth.

The fact is that, when you vomit, you are exposing your throat and mouth to harsh digestive acids. While the occasional stomach bug may not have a noticeable impact on your oral health, a regular habit of vomiting is going to quickly erode your tooth enamel, your sensitive gums, and the lining of your esophagus. This invites serious tooth decay and periodontal problems, which explains why so many bulimics are missing teeth. Our Federal Way dentistry clinic encourages patients to make the right choice for their health and appearance, and never induce vomiting when it is not necessary.

Helping Your Kids Feel Comfortable at the Dentist’s Office

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Many people get anxious when they come in to the dentist, and children are no exception. Indeed, most severe cases of dental anxiety are the result of the individual’s earliest experience at the dental office. With this in mind, you’ll want to take care to make your child comfortable with our Federal Way dentistry clinic as early as you can. Here are a few tips to make this possible:

  • Bring your child in at an early age. It is generally recommended that a child’s first dental visit should occur when he or she turns one. This is not only a good way to avoid decay, but also a good way to acclimate the child to the concept.
  • Be mindful of your own reaction to the dentist office. Even if you’re not aware of it, you may be showing signs of nervousness. Your child picks up on these cues.
  • Watch your language. This means not telling horror stories about what may happen, but it also means not saying “everything will be okay”. You don’t want to lose your child’s trust if he or she experiences discomfort in the dentist’s chair.
  • Don’t bribe your child. Children are smart enough to realize that, when you promise to reward them, there must be some reason you would feel the need to do so.

Familial Discord Linked to Poor Dental Health

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Nobody is immune to tooth decay. This is why our Federal Way dentistry clinic believes in striving to provide people from all walks of life with quality dental care. However, there are some households that are more at risk of poor oral health than others, regardless of their genetics or financial situation. According to a recent study conducted by New York University, individuals in troubled families have a higher risk of cavities and missing teeth.

The result of the study showed that, for every above-average statistical increase in a partner’s aggression towards a married individual, the occurrence of cavities would go up substantially. Women would have an average of 3.5 additional cavities, while men would have an average of 5.3 more. Children, meanwhile, showed an average of 1.9 more cavities for every above-average increase of emotional aggression exhibited by their mothers towards their other parent.

It would appear that domestic violence, whether verbal or physical, is conducive of bad oral hygiene. A noxious household environment undermines regular, organized routines, and this includes brushing and flossing. Additionally, people in such environments are prone towards stress eating, exposing themselves to harmful sugars for extended periods of time.

Caring For Your Bridgework

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When you have a missing or broken tooth, our Federal Way dentistry clinic can solve your problem with a well-crafted dental bridge. But after you get the bridge done, how can you best take care of it?

Proper dental care is very important when you have a bridge installed. Since your bridge is supported by the structure of your surrounding teeth, any decay in these teeth can compromise the integrity of the bridge. Therefore, you will want to maintain your usual brushing, flossing, and dentist visits. Though normal flossing will be impossible around your bridge, a product called a floss threader can help you. When well-maintained, a dental bridge can last you for upwards of ; fifteen years; consult our dentist for further information.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

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X-rays are a big part of the experience at any dentist’s office. Getting regular dental x-rays is the only way to assure that you don’t have any tooth decay going on under the surface. But are they worth the risks associated with the radiation exposure? This is a common concern at our Federal Way dentistry clinic, so it’s important to us that patients have the facts they need to feel good about their dental procedures.

Fortunately, the amount of radiation you are exposed to with a modern dental x-ray machine is extremely minimal. Advances in x-ray technology allow that we are able to get a good image of your teeth quickly and efficiently; high-speed machines let us create a picture within a very short exposure period. More limited x-ray beams allow us to focus the radiation on a smaller area, so that only the area that needs to be x-rayed becomes exposed. This improved technology is paired with lead-lined aprons and periodical x-ray machine checks. In short, the little radiation you are exposed to is easily worth the benefits derived from a regular dental x-ray.

Athletes and Tooth Decay

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Athletes are known to be models of good health. Through their rigorous fitness regimens, they maintain stellar circulatory systems, toned muscles, and… bad teeth? Indeed, if you or someone you know is an avid athlete, our Federal Way dentistry clinic advises that you be aware of the effect an athletic lifestyle can have on your dental hygiene.

At the London 2012 Olympics, it was found that nearly a fifth of the athletes were suffering from some form of dental problem. From toothaches to bleeding gums, the games were plagued with oral decay. At times, these problems threatened to jeopardize an athlete’s ability to compete.

So, what’s causing such an epidemic amid our athletic population? Part of it is the athlete’s diet. Many fitness buffs dine heavily on carbohydrates and sports drinks, both of which are creating a feeding frenzy for the bacteria in your mouth. Secondly, an athlete tends to become dehydrated during a workout, which fosters dry mouth and encourages the growth of microbes. Aspiring Olympians would therefore do well to drink water instead of sugary sports drinks, and never neglect their routine dental examinations while they are training.

Is Oil Pulling the Real Deal?

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There is a recent trend emerging in dental care known as “oil pulling”. This is where tooth brushing is done away with in favor of vigorously swishing some kind of natural oil for twenty minutes, two times a day. The idea is that the oil cleans your teeth, reduce inflammation, and grant you a list of other health benefits. But is this for real, or is it another snake oil treatment? Before you throw away your own toothbrush, our Federal Way dentistry clinic has some words of caution.

There is a lot to be skeptical about when looking at oil pulling. Many of the claims attached to this practice are downright absurd, and the rest are backed up with some fairly suspect studies. It can be difficult to entirely discount the practice, of course, but it does remain clear that it is no substitute for tooth brushing.

Firstly, try swishing with oil for twenty minutes. Chances are that your jaw will be tired within the first few minutes. And, after all this, you’re still not deriving the same benefits of two minutes of conventional toothbrushing. A toothbrush is the only known way to reliably remove plaque from your teeth, and fluoride toothpaste is important for reinforcing your enamel. Therefore, think twice before replacing proven oral hygiene techniques for unproven medical fads.

Black Hairy Tongue

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Has your tongue taken on the appearance of being covered in dark-colored hair? This is a condition known, appropriately, as black hairy tongue. It is a painless, but detrimental development that our Federal Way dentistry clinic can help you with.

Black hairy tongue occurs when the papillae on your tongue swell and lengthen. This creates a hair-like appearance, then captures bacteria and particles within your mouth. The pigments from your food and bacteria gradually turns the papillae black, or occasionally brown, green, yellow, or another color.

There are many causes of black hairy tongue, including the following:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Antibiotics or certain medications
  • Drinking excessive tea or coffee
  • Dehydration
  • Mouthwash containing peroxide, witch hazel, or menthol
  • Radiation therapy in the head or neck

Curing black hairy tongue is often just a matter of improving your oral hygiene. First and foremost, start scraping your tongue if you do not already do so. Additionally, you may consider giving up on smoking, drinking more water, or consulting your dentist for further options.

Looking Out for Leukoplakia

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There are many unusual growths and diseases that can show up in your mouth, some of which are harmless but others of which can be deadly. The condition known as leukoplakia can go either way. Therefore, if you see any signs of this condition, alert our Federal Way dentistry clinic to get it looked at.

Leukoplakia appears in the form of a white or gray region on your tongue, inside your cheek, or on the roof or floor of your mouth. You will usually not experience any pain, though the area may be sensitive to touch, heat, or spicy food.

This condition is usually caused by an irritation of your delicate mucous membranes, which may come from rough teeth, poorly-fitting dentures, smoking, or sun exposure on the lips. In rare circumstances, it can be more serious. Look out if the patch takes on a fuzzy appearance, as it may be a sign of an HIV infection. Alternatively, it can serve as an early warning sign of oral cancer. This is why you should have all cases of leukoplakia looked at by a medical professional.

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