Author - Polin Dental

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    Winter of 2022 has arrived! The month of January is notoriously cold, and because of the cold weather, it's not uncommon to feel a sharp pain in the gums or the roots of a tooth... or two. Exactly what does that imply, and why is it occurring? Tooth sensitivity is the most common answer.

    Exactly what is tooth sensitivity?

    A reaction to hot or cold temperatures can cause pain or discomfort in the teeth. If we lose our teeth' enamel, expose the dentin, or if our gums recede, the nerves' layers will be exposed. This is what causes it to happen. If the discomfort persists, it could turn into a chronic problem. It can affect a single tooth or a group of teeth.

    What causes tooth sensitivity, then?

    There could be several reasons for this:

    • Tooth decay (dental caries/cavity) results from acid attacks on tooth surfaces by bacteria in our mouths. If left unattended, a cavity in your tooth can become infected. A tooth abscess is a medical term for this.
    • Cracked teeth: Chipped or broken teeth become filled with bacteria from plaque and start to enter the pulp, which causes inflammation.
    • Grinding or clenching your teeth can wear down the enamel on your teeth over time if you do it frequently. This results in the dentin beneath the surface becoming exposed.
    • Brushing too hard can wear down the enamel and expose the dentin over time, as can brushing too roughly or with a hard-bristled toothbrush (use a soft one!). Gum recession can be exacerbated by using a hard toothbrush.
    • The high acid content in certain foods can also cause our teeth to become sensitive. Some foods, such as citrus fruits, sour candies, and sour pickles, tomatoes, pickles, and tea, can wear down the enamel.

    If you're experiencing tooth sensitivity, it could be due to an undiagnosed condition. One of the possibilities is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (GERD). GERD is a type of acid reflux disease that affects individuals who struggle with it on a regular basis. The acid that constantly flows into our esophagus can wear away tooth enamel over time. So keeping an eye out for things that could harm our teeth is critical.

    If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity schedule an appointment with Dr. Polin.

    Dr. Polin will check to see any potential problems and catch them while they’re small. Remember, cavities and tooth cracks often show up on x-rays long before we feel that they’re there.

    Do not be alarmed. Having sensitive teeth is quite common, but you can manage it. What is causing your sensitivity will determine the type of treatment you receive. Several over-the-counter options can help alleviate your discomfort if your sensitivity is mild. Changing your toothpaste, for example, can have a positive impact. Always use toothpaste designed for people with sensitive teeth. These will contain desensitizing ingredients that work to alleviate pain. An excellent toothpaste for sensitive teeth is Sensodyne. Sensitivity can also be treated by:

    • For sensitive teeth, an alcohol-free mouthwash will be less abrasive. Fluoride is a common main ingredient in mouthwashes because it helps strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity. These are also an excellent option, particularly for children.
    • In the event of tooth decay, a filling must be placed in order to restore the tooth's shape and function. To further protect the tooth, a crown is then placed on top.
    • A surgical gum graft may be necessary in cases where root exposure is the source of sensitivity. To fill in the gaps, soft tissue is harvested from another area of your mouth. Your oral surgeon will consult with you to determine which type of gum recession you have so that they can make the best treatment recommendation for you.

    Keep up with your daily dental hygiene if you have sensitive teeth. Everybody can get it, and it's extremely common. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoride mouthwash, and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Because our smile is the first thing people notice about us when we take off our masks, it's absolutely necessary that we take care of our teeth.

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    The field of dentistry has gone a long way since its inception. It dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization circa 7000 B.C., making it one of the earliest medical professions. However, reports dating back to 5,000 B.C. show that dentistry and tooth decay were known and present. People believed that tooth worms caused tooth rot, but dental practitioners proved this untrue in the 1700s. Dentistry has seen several advancements and modifications throughout the years. Its current use has developed to employ effective preventative and therapeutic care. It's a mad journey learning about dental history, so buckle up and join us for a trip down memory lane!

    French physician Pierre Fauchard was dubbed "The Father of Modern Dentistry" by his 17th-century contemporaries. Fauchard created the concepts responsible for today's dentistry between 1650 and the 1800s.  But did you know that barbers were the go-to persons for dental issues as long back as the Bronze Age (3500 BC)? People referred to early dentists as "Barber-Surgeons." They not only groomed people's hair but also performed minor surgeries. Barber dentists were known for pulling teeth to cure dental decay, but they could also fill cavities.

    Going back to ancient times, humans have managed to clean their teeth. The ancient Babylonians and Egyptians were responsible for some of the first tools. Egyptians created dental tools by chewing and working twigs with the mouth. They were employed to assist in the removal of food particles. "Chew sticks" was the proper name for this instrument. The Chinese created the first bristle toothbrush during the Tang Dynasty (618 AD – 907 AD). The bristles of this toothbrush were most likely made of pigs' hair, while the handles were likely bone or bamboo. We now have a wide range of primarily plastic manual and electric plastic toothbrushes in various forms and sizes.

    But, you might wonder, what about toothpaste? Ancient toothpaste address the same issues we face today. Keeping our teeth and gums clean, teeth whitening, and refreshing breath. However, the ingredients were vastly different from those used now. Powdered bovine hooves, ashes, and toasted eggshells were among the ingredients used back then, along with pumice. Crushed bones and oyster shells were popular among the Greeks and Romans. The Romans also added powdered charcoal and bark to give the toothpaste a taste boost and help with foul breath. Ginseng, herbal mints, and salt were among the Chinese elements, which were the most similar to what we use today.

    The development of modern toothpaste started around the 1800s. The early versions contained soap and chalk. Although, after 1945, sodium laureth sulfate replaced soap to make the paste smoother, it remains a common ingredient today.

     

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    Veneers

    This patient is overjoyed with his beautiful sparkling teeth. Veneers were applied by Dr. Carly to achieve his neat, bright smile.

    Polin Dental offers a unique veneer, ultra-thin porcelain veneers known as Lumineers. Lumineers are ultra-thin, so they don't require drilling, grinding, or shots like common veneers. Lumineers attach to your natural teeth with no discomfort.

    Request a consultation to learn more about veneers.

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    Dentist in Boca Raton, Polin Dental
    Polin Dental - 2600 N. Military Trail, Ste. 320 - Boca Raton, FL 33431

    September is nearly over! Fall is right around the corner. It's National Gum Care Month, and it's a great time to brush up on routines that can keep our mouths clean and healthy. A simple action is very beneficial to our oral health and overall wellness, brushing teeth. However, skipping out on a good oral hygiene routine can cause many problems down the line. Especially choosing not to go to the dentist for checkups. That always leaves us with unnoticed issues until it's too late. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment that everyone should enact. What could happen if we don't take the proper oral care of our mouth and gums?

    According to the National Institute of Health, our mouths can carry up to 700 strains of bacteria. So, what happens when bacteria are left to linger inside our mouths? Well, it happily feeds on the sugar from the food and drinks that we consume daily. But, unfortunately, bacteria also like to break down tooth enamel, which makes the enamel weaker and leads to tooth decay. Tooth decay and cavities are some of the most common health problems, but this can also lead to gum disease. 

    Our gums are not supposed to bleed when we brush or floss our teeth. If that does happen, you may have gum disease. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that, when left untreated, can deteriorate the jawbone supporting our teeth. Gum disease starts because of the bacteria that form and stays on teeth. If the bacteria are not removed daily with brushing and flossing, the plaque builds up, and the bacteria starts infecting the gums and teeth. Bacteria buildup left untreated, teeth will eventually begin to fall out or will require professional extraction. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. 

    Gum Disease

    • Gingivitis - Early gum disease: This is the earliest stage of gum disease. If plaque builds up at the gum line, it will cause inflammation, and the gums can become swollen and red. In addition, plaque buildup can irritate the gum tissue that is around teeth, which causes gingivitis. At this early stage of gum disease, you might notice bleeding gums after brushing or while flossing. If caught early enough, Dr. Polin can cure this stage of gum disease.
    • Periodontitis - Moderate Gum Disease: This is the second stage of gum disease. The tissue and the bone that holds teeth in place are damaged. When bacteria stay on teeth long enough, plaque builds up, turning into tartar, and tartar is a lot harder to clean off of our teeth. Periodontitis heavily recedes the gums at this stage of gum disease, and tooth loss is imminent unless treated.
    • Advanced Periodontitis - Acute Gum Disease: This is the final and severest stage of gum disease. At this point, the tissue and the bone that hold our teeth in place well deteriorate. In addition, the gum tissue has pulled away from teeth, creating pockets for even more bacteria to build up and cause further damage and infections. When this happens, it's common for teeth to get dislodged and fall out.

    How to Stop Gum Disease

    Now, the best way to stop gum disease is to prevent it from starting. Brushing and flossing twice per day and using fluoride toothpaste is the best we can do at home to keep gum disease from developing. However, if symptoms of gum disease are already present, visiting a dentist or a periodontist, a dentist specializing in gum disease, is the best option for getting back on a healthy track. When you come in for a perio appointment, the first step is a consultation exam to develop the best treatment options to fit your needs. Treatment may include nonsurgical or surgical methods.

    • Nonsurgical Treatments: Some nonsurgical treatments can help the early stages of gum disease. Nonsurgical treatment includes deep cleaning, where scaling and root planing remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line.
    • Surgical Treatments: Some of the surgical treatments periodontists can perform to help with gum disease include bone grafting, flap surgery, and tissue regeneration.

    So far, we've talked about oral care and what could happen if we don't take the time to care for our teeth properly. As adults, we know this, but what about kids and teens? They need to know what they can do to take care of their teeth and gums. While conversations with your children and their health will vary by age, here are the best examples of what to share and demonstrate with them at home:

    • Brush their teeth twice a day
    • Floss daily
    • See the dentist at least twice a year
    • Eat healthy meals
    • Be mindful with sugary drinks and snacks

    Doctors say that the mouth is the gateway to overall health, so we should protect it as much as possible. However, practicing good dental health doesn't start at the dentist's office. It begins with us. Us taking care of our teeth at home is where the real magic happens. Maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine is a lifelong commitment that we can all commit to, and it's OK to re-commit as well.

    The Team at POLIN DENTAL wish you a
    Happy National Gum Care Month!

     

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    Snap-On Smile, Cosmetic Dentistry at Polin Dental
    Snap-On Smile available at Polin Dental in Boca Raton

    Dr. Carly Polin is proud to be serving the residents of Boca Raton with thoughtful, personalized general and cosmetic dentistry.
    Dr. Polin combines the latest technology with compassionate dental care to help patients of all ages achieve healthy, beautiful smiles.

    See Dr. Polin for Snap-On Smile
    Cosmetic Makeovers That Change Lives

    Snap-On Smile® can be life-changing. Patients have reported improvements in self-confidence, happiness, and health.

    Snap-On Smile is a prescription-only custom-made, cosmetic removable dental arch. Snap-On Smile fits right over your teeth to give you a beautiful, natural-looking smile covering stains, chips, gaps, or missing teeth. Snap-On Smile is a much more affordable alternative to full-mouth restoration procedures like dental veneers, dental implants, or dentures.

    A confident, enthusiastic smile can make a meaningful impact on how you see yourself and how others perceive you. A survey from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry revealed that nearly half of adults (48%) believe that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone.

    Enjoy your life knowing your outward expression matches your inner beauty with Snap-On Smile.

    Book a consultation with Dr. Polin to learn more.