Regular checkups with your dentist are an excellent way to prevent cavities, but they still may pop up even for the most diligent of people. Our Westchester, NY, dentist Dr. Jeffrey Pike of The Scarsdale Dentist believes in working alongside his patients to provide the best care by educating them about their dental health. Here are a few ways that cavities can make themselves known.
Although you wouldn't think of yourself as being lucky to have a cavity, if you can see a small, permanent brown, gray, or black spot on one of your teeth, that's a sign that you may need a filling. If you notice a visible spot, be sure to visit our Westchester dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Pike, to have it fixed before an obvious cavity gets larger and more invasive.
When cavities first develop, they don't usually cause any discomfort. However, as they begin to breach the protective layer of enamel on the outside of the teeth, you may start to notice tooth sensitivity when you brush, floss, drink hot coffee, or eat ice cream. This is due to the nerves inside the tooth responding to the reduction in insulation that healthy enamel provides. Although sensitivity can be caused by other issues, any new symptoms associated with your teeth should be evaluated by our Westchester dentist as soon as possible.
If you've noticed your dental floss comes out shredded after catching on something between your teeth, a cavity might be to blame. Even small areas of decay between the teeth can carve out a crevice that may snag your floss string. Don't ignore this small but meaningful symptom of a cavity.
Whether you're having indications that a cavity has developed, or if it's been a while since you've had a dental checkup, contact The Scarsdale Dentist for an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Pike. Serving Westchester and Scarsdale, NY. We can be reached at (914) 725-0707.
Holistic medicine aims to provide healthcare for the “whole” person. While it's a worthy approach, the term has also been used to advance ideas, including in dentistry, at odds with solid scientific evidence.
Here are 4 “holistic” oral health claims and why you should be wary of them.
Root canals are dangerous. It might be shocking to learn that some claim this routine tooth-saving procedure increases the risk of disease. The claim comes from an early 20th Century belief that leaving a “dead” organ like a root-canaled tooth in the body damages the immune system. The idea, though, has been thoroughly disproved, most recently by a 2013 oral cancer study that found not only no evidence of increased cancer, but an actual decrease in cancer risk following root canal treatment.
X-rays are hazardous. X-rays have improved tooth decay treatment by allowing dentists to detect it at earlier stages. Even so, many advise avoiding X-rays because, as a form of radiation, high levels could damage health. But dentists take great care when x-raying patients, performing them only as needed and at the lowest possible exposure. In fact, people receive less radiation through dental X-rays than from their normal background environment.
Silver fillings are toxic. Known for their strength and stability, dentists have used silver fillings for generations. But now many people are leery of them because it includes mercury, which has been linked to several health problems. Research concludes that there's no cause for alarm, or any need to remove existing fillings: The type of mercury used in amalgam is different from the toxic kind and doesn't pose a health danger.
Fluoride contributes to disease. Nothing has been more beneficial in dental care or more controversial than fluoride. A proven weapon against tooth decay, fluoride has nonetheless been associated with ailments like cancer or Alzheimer's disease. But numerous studies have failed to find any substantial disease link with fluoride except fluorosis, heavy tooth staining due to excess fluoride. Fluorosis, though, doesn't harm the teeth otherwise and is easily prevented by keeping fluoride consumption within acceptable limits.
Each of these supposed “dangers” plays a prominent role in preventing or minimizing dental disease. If you have a concern, please talk with your dentist to get the true facts about them.
If you would like more information on best dental practices, 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 “Holistic Dentistry: Fads vs. Evidence-Based Practices.”
Perhaps you’ve heard the old saying: “Take care of your dentures and your dentures will take care of you.” Well, maybe it’s not that old—but it’s still a sensible notion. Maintaining your dentures by routinely cleaning them and having them checked for fit will improve their longevity.
There’s one other thing you should include on your maintenance routine—avoid wearing your dentures 24/7, especially while you sleep. This bad habit could lead to some unpleasant consequences.
For one, wearing dentures continuously can accelerate bone loss in the jaw that eventually causes your dentures to lose their comfortable fit. Bone loss is a natural consequence of tooth loss because the bone no longer receives the stimulation to grow transmitted by the teeth during chewing. Dentures can’t transmit this stimulus; what’s more, the pressure they place on the gums and underlying bony ridges could make bone loss worse. You can relieve this gum pressure at night by taking them out.
Dentures can also become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that cause disease, irritation and unpleasant mouth odors. Taking dentures out at night deprives these microorganisms of a prime opportunity to carry on business as usual—and it’s also a great time to clean your dentures. People who sleep with their dentures in their mouth are more likely to have gum or oral yeast infections and higher levels of proteins produced by white cells that increase inflammation. That could contribute to other diseases throughout the body.
Besides taking your dentures out at night, you should also practice other daily hygiene tasks. Remove your dentures after eating and rinse them with clean water. Brush your dentures daily with a soft-bristled brush and dish or antibacterial soap or dental cleanser (no toothpaste—it’s too abrasive for denture surfaces). Be sure you clean your gums and tongue every day too. When your dentures are out, store them in clean water or preferably an alkaline peroxide-based solution.
Removing your dentures at night and these other good habits will help extend the life and fit of your dentures. It could also help keep the rest of you healthy.
If you would like more information on denture care, 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 “Sleeping in Dentures: A Habit that Can Cause Health Problems.”
Find out the many ways in which dental veneers can improve your smile in the long run.
Are you looking for a permanent cosmetic solution that could completely reshape and alter your smile for the better? Are dental imperfections such as chips, discolorations or gaps between teeth keeping you from the smile you want? If you said “yes” our Westchester, NY, dentist Dr. Jeffrey Pike can help you achieve your dream smile with porcelain veneers.
What are porcelain veneers?
Veneers are thin, medical-grade shells crafted from porcelain that are bonded to the front of one or more teeth in order to change the shape, color or size of a tooth. Veneers are purely cosmetic; however, they do have the ability to strengthen teeth, too. Each veneer is custom-made to cover a single tooth and often requires some minor tooth preparation before bonding them.
Veneers can pretty much be used to hide a myriad of dental flaws but these are some of the top reasons people turn to our Westchester, NY, cosmetic dentist to get dental veneers,
Everything from smoking cigarettes to eating certain foods can lead to yellow teeth. Of course, many people choose to get professional teeth whitening; however, if you are looking to achieve a permanently whiter smile, or if you have internal stains that can’t be treated with professional whitening then you may want to consider veneers. Veneers are made from stain-resistant porcelain, which means that your smile will be just as white years from now as the first day you get your veneers.
Gaps between teeth
If you have a noticeable gap between your teeth dental veneers often a permanent solution for hiding these gaps without ever needing to wear braces. Once veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth they completely camouflage those visible gaps, as well as slightly crooked and misaligned teeth. So if your smile is just slightly askew or asymmetrical you don’t have to always turn to braces to fix this. Sometimes veneers are all that’s needed.
Chips and cracks
If you have a tooth that is slightly damaged or even misshapen veneers offer a simple and minimally invasive way to hide these imperfections without requiring extensive tooth reshaping and preparation. Our dentist will buff away the damage and then bond a veneer to the front of the tooth. Instantly the chips and cracks are gone.
Teeth grinding and poor hygiene can cause excess wear and tear on tooth enamel. If your teeth are a bit worn porcelain veneers can provide an additional layer of strength and protection to reduce the risk for further damage to tooth enamel.
The Scarsdale Dentist is your premier dental practice, providing full-service dental care to patients of all ages living in and around Westchester and Scarsdale, NY. If you are interested in learning more about dental veneers then call our office at (914) 725-0707.
To anyone immersed in the “X-Men Universe” Hugh Jackman will always be Wolverine, a role he played in seven movies. But there’s more to this Australian actor than mutant bone claws and mutton chops that would make Elvis envious. Jackman has also starred in over 20 non-superhero films, including Les Misérables, for which he won a Golden Globe. He is also a Tony award-winning Broadway performer—with a winning smile.
With his famed character Logan/Wolverine fading in the rearview mirror, Jackman has returned to his musical roots. He will play Harold Hill in the Broadway revival of The Music Man, set to open in Fall 2020. And since May 2019 he’s been on world tour with Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show., featuring Jackman and a supporting cast performing songs from favorite shows and films, including Les Misérables and the 2017 hit The Greatest Showman.
The Show, with 90 planned stops throughout Europe, North America and Oceania, is a decidedly different “universe” from the X-Men. As Wolverine, Jackman could get away with a scruffier look. But performing as Jean Valjean or the bigger-than-life P.T. Barnum, he has to bring a vastly different look to the role, which brings us to Jackman’s teeth…
Once upon a time, Jackman’s teeth were an unflattering gray—definitely not a good look for stage or film. So with the help of his dentist, Jackman set about upgrading his smile with teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is a great way to take a dull, stained smile and turn up the volume on its brightness—and attractiveness—a notch or two. A dentist applies a bleaching solution that stays in contact with the teeth for a few minutes. The process is often aided by special lighting.
A professional application is especially desirable if, like Jackman, you want “Goldilocks” brightness: not too little, not too much, but just right for you. Dentists can precisely control the tint level to get a brighter but more naturally looking white. Of course, you can also get a dazzling “Hollywood” smile if you so desire.
And although the effect of teeth whitening isn’t permanent, a dental application can last a while, depending on how well you manage foods and beverages that stain teeth. With a touchup now and then, you may be able to keep your brighter smile for years before undergoing the full procedure again.
One important note, though: This technique only works with outer enamel staining. If the discoloration originates from within the tooth, the bleaching agent will have to be placed internally, requiring access to the inside of the tooth. An alternative would be porcelain veneers to mask the discoloration, an option that also works when there is ultra-heavy enamel staining.
If you’re tired of your dull smile, talk with us about putting some pizzazz back into it. Teeth whitening could be your way to get a smile worthy of Broadway.
If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening” and “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.”
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