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Norwood Dental
222 East Wilson St., Norwood, MN
Phone: (952) 467-3518

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5 Tips for Staying Relaxed at the Dentist’s

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Fear of dentists is common, which prevents patients to stay put once they arrive in the waiting room and the terrorizing smells and sounds hit them. Dentist phobia can be the result of numerous factors, including a dental experience gone wrong, fear of scary equipment like drills and injections, and fear of the unknown. Regardless of the reason you are scared of visiting the dentist, here are 5 tips that will help you stay calm the next time you visit your dentist:

1.     Open Up About Your Fears to the Dentist

Some dentists have extensive experience in dealing with patients that have dental fear. Opening to your dentists about your fears and concerns will help him better address and manage those fears so you can feel more relaxed in the examination chair.

2.     Soothing Sounds

Relaxing music and sounds of nature can be a powerful tool for calming your nerves. Taking your favorite beats with you to the dentist’s office can take your mind off the scary-looking equipment and the dental procedure and you will be done before you even know it.

3.     Relaxation Techniques

If thinking of the next dentist’s appointment makes you nauseous, sweaty and mentally disturbed, practicing different breathing exercises can help normalize your tense body. Slowly and deeply breathe in and out, and meditate to a relaxing song.

4.     Take a Friend

Having a close one rooting for you nearby is comforting and reassuring. They can be there to hold your hand and tell you it’s going to be alright during moments of stress and anxiety, which will be of great help.

5.     Focus On the Positives

Think about how this particular dental treatment is going to help you make your life better and that you are strong enough to handle the temporary fear and pain.

Make sure to follow these tips the next time you visit your dentist for a smoother experience.

What You Should Know before Wisdom Tooth Removal?

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Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure that your dentist may perform in his office within two hours. If your tooth requires extraction or is impacted deeply, your dentist will recommend you to an oral surgeon who will then carry out an in-depth surgical process. Here are three things you should know before having your wisdom teeth removed:

Why Do You Need A Wisdom Tooth (Teeth) Removal?

A wisdom tooth is removed to correct or prevent problems that may occur when they come in. These include:

  • Your jaw may be too small to support them and the wisdom teeth may become impacted
  • Your wisdom teeth may cause a flap of gum tissue to develop over them after breaking partway through your gums. Food debris and germs will become trapped beneath the flap and result in swelling and reddening of the gums.
  • One or more wisdom teeth may come out at a weird angle, causing pain and discomfort.

What Problems Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Prevent?

Wisdom teeth removal helps fix the following problems:

  • Crowding of the back teeth
  • Impacting on the wisdom tooth (inability of the tooth to come out of the gums)
  • Presence of tooth decay and gum disease in the wisdom tooth, which may become difficult to clean

What Are The Risks of Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Once the tooth has been removed, you may experience:

  • Swelling and pain in your tooth socket and gums where the tooth was initially removed.
  • Slow-healing gums
  • Unstoppable bleeding for around 24 hours
  • Painful and uncomfortable inflammation known as dry socket, which is the result of a lost protective blood clot

Prior to the procedure, it is best to discuss the risk factors with your dentist and the appropriate ways to avoid it, to ensure your comfort and convenience.

The Mental and Emotional Health Hazards of Bad Breath

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Bad breath and personal relationships are like water and oil: they don’t mix. Whether that is a friend, a partner or a family member, bad breath is no joke. With ruined relationships come mental frustration, emotional vulnerability, and lost self-confidence.

How bad breath affects relationships:

  • Avoidance
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Lost self-esteem

Because bad breath is so unpleasant, people tend to develop a negative attitude towards those suffering from the condition. It may even be a key factor in social communication and therefore brings along different emotional and mental perils. When people try their best to keep their distance from you or erupt in whispers when you are around, you are sure to not feel so good about yourself. Popping breath mints one after and another and hoping no one speaks to you is quite emotionally frustrating as you see your social life slip away slowly.

Some people with bad breath choose to never go out which in turn affects their physical and mental wellbeing. Sufferers cut themselves off from not only their personal life but also their work life. Communicating and networking with your employers is an important part of your career path and those with bad breath try to avoid these interactions at all cost, restricting their professional growth.

A survey involving participants showed that around 34% of them were hesitant about the idea of speaking with each other while the other 12.6% avoided others completely. This shows how bad breath is a big social issue as it causes embarrassment and results in social barriers between the sufferers and their friends, loved ones, colleagues and relatives. All this adds up to social anxiety, which translates into mental and emotional hazards.

Hence, you should consider visiting your dentist the moment you discover you have bad breath.

The Importance of Scaling and Planing for Gum Disease Treatment

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Gum disease is often the result of a sticky film of bacteria known as plaque. If not cleaned well, plaque can cause gum inflammation where your gums will start retracting and form pockets. Often, plaque builds up in these pockets and is incredibly difficult to remove with your regular brushing and flossing. If this continues and no professional assistance is sought, this plaque accumulation can eventually cause tooth and bone loss.

If detected early, professional cleaning can help considerably. If the pockets between your gums are deep, you need root planing and scaling. Root planing and scaling are one of the most effective treatments for gum diseases before it worsens. This method thoroughly cleans the pockets of your gums and the teeth and down to your roots.

There are two parts of this form of deep cleaning. During the scaling procedure, your dentist will remove the tartar and plaque above and below the gum line, and all the way down to the root of the pockets. The procedure is followed by root planing where the roots of your teeth are smoothed out to help your gums reattach to the teeth. Root planing and scaling can take multiple visits to complete the entire cleaning process and may require local anesthesia.

Your dentist will use manual hand instruments, ultrasonic instruments or a combination of both for dental scaling. Root planing will involve a comprehensive scaling of the surface of the root to minimize inflammation of the gum tissue. Your dentist will scale the root surface to eliminate rough areas, removing biofilm development and plaque.

Root planing and scaling need to be backed up with a proper oral hygiene routine to prevent your gum disease from progressing or recurring. So, make sure you contact your dentist for regular checkups to prevent gum disease or for early detection in case you suffer from it already.

How to Prevent the Need for Your Child to Get Braces:

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Braces are one of the best ways to correct overbites, crooked teeth, and other various orthodontic problems. However, they can be quite unsightly and painful, not to mention quite costly. If for one reason or another you are wondering about how to prevent your child from getting braces, then read on:

PREVENT MOUTH BREATHING:

If your child is a frequent mouth breather, this can result in the misalignment of his or her teeth that will eventually require braces for correction. Various factors may contribute to your child breathing from the mouth, including asthma and enlarged tonsils. Be quick in making an appointment with the pediatrician to get these problems fixed quickly.

DISCOURAGE THUMB SUCKING:

Again, thumb or finger sucking can misalign the teeth that will at some point require braces. Carefully observe what triggers thumb sucking in your child. If it is stress, a hug or soothing words will do. If, however, the action is thoughtless, gentle reminders and positive reinforcement steps like a trip to the park or a toy will work great for warding off this habit.

LOOK FOR ALTERNATIVES:

For whatever reason, getting your child to wear braces may be a difficult option for you. In this instance, you can look for the following alternatives.

  • Retainers:

A retainer is a device used for fixing crooked teeth and is removable. They are quite an inexpensive option, and depending on your child’s teeth structure can be a great alternative to braces.

  • Aligners:

Aligners are removable and clear braces that are effective at correcting structural issues and slight crookedness. They have to be worn at certain intervals and are great for fixing gaps in teeth.

  • Veneers:

These are porcelain caps crowned on your teeth to correct chips, cracks, gaps, and discoloration.

So, take the necessary steps to keep your child from needing braces down the line.

How to Keep Braces Pain under Control

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People who wear braces sometimes have painful experiences. They may have soreness or discomfort caused by the braces rubbing against their lips, teeth, and cheeks. This mild or painful feeling may last for several days or weeks. Even though the end result is worth the pain, it can sometimes become fairly difficult for children or adults to sustain the pain. Parents should make all attempts to support their child to continue practicing good oral hygiene, even through discomfort, to keep their gums and teeth clean, while wearing braces. Here are a few ways to keep braces pain under control:

Using Orthodontist Wax

A large number of dentists offer their patients a special wax after each adjustment appointment. Wax for braces functions as a barrier between the inside part of the cheeks and lips and the bracket of the braces for preventing gum irritation. By applying orthodontic wax to the teeth, gums, and braces, you can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by braces.

Take a Pain-Reliever

Sometimes the only way you can manage this kind of pain is with the help of a pain reliever. Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, help reduce inflammation and pain. All medicines should be checked with your doctor before use. Oral anesthetics can also be applied to the gums and teeth with the help of a cotton swab. These are widely available in gel form and desensitize a specific area in your mouth that is painful, owing to your shifting teeth.

Change Your Diet

If you have your braces tightened, your gums and teeth may be sensitive and eating food may be painful. It is best to avoid crunchy or hard food, such as raw vegetables. Instead, opt for foods and liquids that are easier on teeth, including smoothies, yogurt, soups, and mashed potatoes. Once the pain subsides and your teeth have adjusted, you can resume normal eating habits like before.

By following these tips, you can keep your braces pain under control.

Why Do Teeth Come Loose?

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As we age, we do not remain immune to dental issues. One such issue is tooth loss where the teeth themselves or the surrounding fibers, bone and tiny ligament become loose owing to the impact of various conditions, some of which are discussed below.

Infection and Periodontal Disease

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease affects the teeth and its surrounding supporting structure, causing it to become loose. This happens because of the inflammation caused by bacteria and plaque that eventually damages the fiber and bone that hold the teeth upright. In some instances, the gums develop pockets around the teeth which encourage the buildup of bacteria and toxins, again leading to loss of connective tissue and bone that secure the teeth.

Impactful Forces

If teeth are consistently exposed to traumatic forces, they can become loose eventually. Examples include clenching or grinding, an impactful fall or some forms of orthodontic treatment that exert a lot of pressure on the teeth.

Fractures and Injuries

Traumatic injuries can dislocate a tooth with its socket, which in turn can cause the bone to fracture and the surrounding tissues to get damaged. In case the root is fractured, the exposed part of the tooth may become loose.

Pregnancy Hormones

During pregnancy, high amounts of estrogen and progesterone produced can cause the ligaments and bones surrounding your teeth to become loose, making them mobile. Fortunately, this condition is not so severe on its own unless coupled with other complications, like gum disease.

The bottom line here is to prevent your teeth from becoming loose and coming out is through practicing a proper oral hygiene routine, avoiding traumatic forces, and injuries. Besides brushing and flossing, visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, and wear a mouth guard if you tend to fall a lot. This way, you can keep your teeth from coming loose.

Periodontal Diseases and the Risks It Poses

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Periodontal disease is infection in the surrounding structure of the teeth, including the gums, alveolar bone and periodontal ligament. Primary symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath, swollen, receding, tender or bleeding gums. Research suggests periodontal disease not only contributes to deteriorating gum health, but also poses serious risks to your overall health, the outcome of which may include:

Cardiovascular Diseases

The bacteria responsible for periodontal disease may overflow and enter the bloodstream, causing it to inflame and have a reaction. This increases the risk of blood clotting which in turn disturbs the normal flow of blood, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Respiratory Disorders

Since the oral cavity is near the lungs and respiratory tract, it makes sense why there is a higher chance that bacteria from the infected and inflamed gums would be transferred to the respiratory organs and lungs via breathing, resulting in lung and respiratory tract infections.

Pregnancy Complications

Research suggests gum disease can negatively impact fetus growth and result in more premature births. The same bacteria that cause gum disease lead to amniotic fluid inflammation or infection, which is associated with early labor.

Osteoporosis

Although not confirmed, a number of studies show that the same conditions that lead to bone loss around the teeth in periodontal disease can also elevate the risk of a healthy person becoming prone to osteoporosis.

Diabetes

Periodontal disease and gum inflammation make it hard to control blood sugar level and may make your diabetic symptoms even worse. It is also speculated to contribute to type-2 Diabetes, which is characterized by insulin deficiency and insulin resistance.

To keep the possibility of developing the abovementioned health problems at bay, it is critical to maintain proper dental hygiene and get regular professional checkups and cleanings.

When Do You Need a Dental Crown?

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Teeth can be restored through a number of dental procedures, dental crowns being one of them. Although a widely used restoration method, dental crowns cost hundreds of dollars, and it is, therefore, important for you to know whether you really require them or not. So, how can you tell? If you are experiencing any of the conditions mentioned below, know it is about time you got your teeth crowned:

Cracked Tooth

This is a condition where a person breaks the inside of a tooth and therefore experiences sharp pangs of pain whenever chewing a certain way. A dental crown helps remove the pain in most instances by holding the teeth together and redistributing the strain equally throughout the tooth.

Large Filling

When a tooth is fractured or has a cavity that takes up half or more of its width, it immediately needs to be covered with a cap. This is done to avoid any surrounding area, which is usually sensitive and prone to breakage, from coming in contact with something harsh.

Visually Unappealing Teeth

Teeth are prone to discoloration, wear and tear and developing gaps over time. Dental crowns are an effective way to cover the unpleasant appearance of the teeth and also look natural.

Missing Teeth

In case of missing teeth, dental crowns can be placed on implants to reinstate any spaces left behind from the missing teeth.

Intense Teeth Wear And Tear

A person with a habit of teeth grinding will soon experience shrinkage in their teeth’s length. Also, in case of a really acidic diet or unbalanced acid reflux in the body, the teeth will become soft and fragile, and lose their bite. To restore this problem, covering the teeth becomes necessary through dental crowns.

These are some of the situations in which you should opt for dental crowns over other remedies.

Why You Might Be at a Higher Risk of Cavities?

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While some people blame their teeth for being more prone to cavities on genes, there usually remain other reasons for this tooth problem. Following are some of the factors that make you more likely to get cavities:

CAVITIES:

If you have had cavities in the past, it makes sense why you are more likely to keep getting cavities until you make some changes for good.

FREQUENT SUGAR CONSUMPTION:

Sugar provides a great source of fermented carbohydrates to the bacteria, something they love and live for. Frequent sugar consumption results in these bacteria producing a surplus of cavity-causing acid that will eventually erode away the teeth.

BAD FILLINGS AND/OR CROWNS:                     

Poorly crowned or filled teeth facilitate the buildup of plaque and bacteria where you cannot reach during the brushing and flossing routine.

DRY MOUTH:                

Lack of saliva production in the mouth leads to it becoming dry, and this condition is medically known as xerostomia. A dry mouth encourages the buildup of bacteria and plaque, since food debris and acid are not properly washed away due to less saliva. These bacteria then feed on the food bits and sugars, converting them into acid plaque that leads to cavities.

RADIATION TREATMENT AND CHEMOTHERAPY:

Radiation treatment or chemotherapy in the neck or head area can decrease the salivary flow, leading to oral problems that amplify the risk of getting cavities.

BRACES:

Although braces play a major role in straightening and beautifying your teeth, they can also simultaneously making them more prone to cavities. This is because braces make brushing harder and flossing nearly impossible. This improper oral hygiene routine eventually gives way to cavities.

EXPOSED ROOT SURFACES:

The root of the teeth gets exposed in case of receding gums, where the protective enamel coverage is absent. This leads to the dentin (which makes up the roots) dissolving at a higher PH in contrast to the enamel, which means that weak acids will eat away the roots and make the teeth more vulnerable to cavities.

These are some of the reasons why you may have a higher risk of cavities.