Posts for: October, 2021
Losing teeth can make it more difficult to eat, not to mention the effect it can have on your smile. But that could be just the beginning of your problems. Missing teeth can contribute to extensive bone loss within your jaws and face. Here's why.
Bone is like any other living tissue—cells develop, function and eventually die, and new cells take their place. Forces generated during chewing stimulate this new growth, helping the jawbone maintain its normal volume and density.
But you lose this stimulus when you lose teeth. This can cause a slowdown in bone cell regrowth that can eventually diminish bone volume. And it can happen relatively quickly: you could lose a quarter or more of jawbone width around a missing tooth within a year.
As this loss continues, especially in cases of multiple missing teeth, the bone can eventually erode to its base level. This loss of dental function can make chewing more difficult, place more pressure on the remaining teeth and adversely affect facial appearance. It could also prevent an implant restoration to replace missing teeth.
Dentures and other forms of dental restoration can replace missing teeth, but not the chewing stimulus. Dentures in particular will accelerate bone loss, because they can irritate the bony gum ridges they rest upon.
Dental implants, on the other hand, can slow or even stop bone loss. Implants consist of a metal post, typically made of titanium, imbedded into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth with a life-like crown attached. Titanium also has a strong affinity with bone so that bone cells naturally grow and adhere to the implant's surface. This can produce enough growth to slow, stop or even reverse bone loss.
This effect may also work when implants are combined with other restorations, including dentures. These enhanced dentures no longer rest on the gums, but connect to implants. This adds support and takes the pressure off of the bony ridge, as well as contributes to better bone health.
If you've lost a tooth, it's important to either replace it promptly or have a bone graft installed to help forestall any bone loss in the interim. And when it's time to replace those missing teeth, dental implants could provide you not only a life-like solution, but a way to protect your bone health.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”
How teeth whitening from your dentist in Reno, NV, can give you an outstanding smile
If you want a whiter, brighter, more outstanding smile, you need professional teeth whitening! Professional tray whitening allows you to whiten as much or as little as you want. Everything from a quick touch-up to dramatic whitening is possible with professional tray whitening. The choice is up to you.
Dr. George Zatarain at Z Dentistry in Reno, NV, offers a wide range of dental services, including professional teeth whitening to give you an outstanding smile. He proudly serves residents of Reno, Sparks, and Fernley, NV, and Truckee, CA.
You may have started with over-the-counter whitening products from your local grocery store. You may have discovered those over-the-counter products:
- Don’t whiten as much as you need them to
- Provide only temporary results
- Make your teeth and gums hurt
Professional tray whitening available at Z Dentistry offers several important advantages, including:
- Custom trays, which are made to fit your smile exactly, so they provide an even distribution of gel
- Prescription-strength whitening gel, which is guaranteed to enhance the beauty of your smile
- Safe treatment, because all products and methods have been approved by the American Dental Association
- Privacy and convenience, because you can whiten your smile at home, whenever the time is right for you
Professional tray whitening begins with the creation of your trays, using models of your teeth. Your unique smile is recreated in the trays, so they fit over your teeth like a glove. You fill the trays with whitening gel, and you wear the trays for about an hour. The custom whitening trays allow you to whiten your teeth whenever you want. More whitening gel can be purchased when you need it.
You don’t have to settle for a dull smile when your new, bright smile is just a phone call away. To find out more about the professional tray whitening system, call Dr. George Zatarain of Z Dentistry in Reno, NV, serving residents of Reno, Sparks, Fernley, NV, and Truckee, CA. You can reach him at (775) 331-1616, so call now!
While mouth pain can certainly get your attention, what exactly hurts may be difficult to identify. It might seem to emanate from a single tooth, or a group of teeth. Then again, it might not be clear whether it's coming from teeth or from the gums.
Still, it's important to pinpoint the cause as much as possible to treat it correctly. One of the main questions we often want to answer is whether the cause originates from within a tooth or without.
In the first case, tooth decay may have entered the pulp at the center of the tooth. The pulp contains nerve bundles that can come under attack from decay and transmit pain signals. Incidentally, if the pain suddenly goes away, it may simply mean the nerves have died and not the infection.
The decay can also spread into the root canals leading to the root and supporting bone, and then make the jump into the gum tissues. One possible sign of this is the one mentioned earlier—you can't quite tell if the pain is from the tooth or the surrounding gums.
The root canals could also serve as a transportation medium for infection in the other direction. In that case, gum disease has advanced into the bone tissues around a tooth near its roots. The infection can then cross into the tooth. Again, both a tooth and the gum tissue around it can become diseased.
We have effective treatments for individual occurrences of interior tooth decay or gum disease: The former usually requires a root canal treatment to remove infected tissue and fill and seal the tooth from future infection; we alleviate gum disease by removing the dental plaque causing it and helping the gum tissues to heal. But combined tooth and gum infection scenarios are more difficult to treat, have a poorer prognosis and may require specialists.
To reduce the risk of either tooth decay or gum disease developing into this greater problem, it's best to take action at the first sign of trouble. So, see your dentist as soon as possible when you encounter oral pain or if you notice swollen or bleeding gums. The earlier we treat the initial outbreak of disease, be it tooth decay or gum disease, the better your chances of a successful and happy outcome.
If you would like more information on tooth pain, 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 “Confusing Tooth Pain.”