Posts for: September, 2016
Pain has a purpose: it tells us when something's wrong with our bodies. Sometimes it's obvious, like a cut or bruise. Sometimes, though, it takes a bit of sleuthing to find out what's wrong.
That can be the case with a toothache. One possible cause is perhaps the most obvious: something's wrong with the tooth. More specifically, decay has invaded the tooth's inner pulp, which is filled with an intricate network of nerves that react to infection by emitting pain. The pain can feel dull or sharp, constant or intermittent.
But decay isn't the only cause for tooth pain: periodontal (gum) disease can trigger similar reactions. Bacteria living in dental plaque, a thin film of food particles on tooth surfaces, infect the gums. This weakens the tissues and can cause them to shrink back (recede) from the teeth and expose the roots. As a result, the teeth can become painfully sensitive to hot or cold foods or when biting down.
Finding the true pain source determines how we treat it. If decay has invaded the pulp you'll need a root canal treatment to clean out the infection and fill the resulting void with a special filling; this not only saves the tooth, it ends the pain. If the gums are infected, we'll need to aggressively remove all plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) to restore the gums to health.
To further complicate matters, an infection from tooth decay could eventually affect the gums and supporting bone, just as a gum infection could enter the tooth by way of the roots. Once the infection crosses from tooth to gums (or gums to tooth), the tooth's long-term outlook grows dim.
So, if you're noticing any kind of tooth pain, or you have swollen, reddened or bleeding gums, you should call us for an appointment as soon as possible. The sooner we can diagnose the problem and begin appropriate treatment the better your chances of a good outcome — and an end to the pain.
If you would like more information on diagnosing and treating 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: Combined Root Canal and Gum Problems.”
Last week, we examined the risks associated with insufficient quality sleep. Shockingly, a lot of us are sleep deprived for one reason or another. Why is this? Why are so many of us getting into bed, but not finding the peaceful release from our daily lives and those important hours to properly recharge? Unfortunately, this is not a question that has a simple answer. However, with a little inward reflection and an analysis of our daily routines, general health, and emotional state, we can figure out the culprit(s). It’s time to take control of our sleep; it is highly valuable and even more imperative to our health and overall wellbeing.
Why can’t we sleep? There are so many different distractions/sleep faux pas, mental/emotional, health/medication, and sleep disorder related reasons why we can’t drift away to that magical and rejuvenating place in the back of our minds at night.
- Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for sleep, not an addition of your office or living room space. Our devices (phones, tablets, computers, alarm clocks, etc.) emit light that can affect our sleep. Also, unless your devices are silenced, it is likely that one will make some sort of notification noise at some point that can disrupt your sleep. You should stop using electronic devices at least thirty minutes prior to going to sleep. Break the technology addiction!
- Our eating and drinking habits play a big role in our sleep quality. If you eat too much, especially heavy food, too close to going to bed, you can expect to have trouble sleeping. On the flip side, if you restrict yourself from eating enough during the day and or at dinnertime, your body will continue to send signals that it needs food even when you are trying to go to sleep. Alcohol and caffeine can greatly affect your sleep quality, as well.
- There is such a thing as “too quiet.” White noise is very helpful when shutting down for the night. This noise can come from the barely audible sound of your fan spinning, the air conditioner running, or maybe even a noise machine that produces peaceful ocean sounds or a gentle rainstorm.
- While naps are truly wonderful, be careful when and for how long you nap. If you nap too late in the day, or take too long of nap, you might find yourself unable to shut down at your normal bedtime. This cycle can mess up your biological clock. Try to avoid late in the afternoon naps and ones that are longer than 90 minutes (if you are so lucky enough to score 90 minutes of mid-day sleep time!) A 10-30 minute nap is perfect for a mid-day break and rejuvenation, and is unlikely to affect your sleep later at night.
- Your mental and emotional state plays a major role in your sleep quality and quantity. Depression, anxiety, chronic stress, grief, and worry can greatly affect your sleep. It is important to address your issues and work toward resolving the things that are bothering you. Sometimes, this is more complicated than simply addressing the issues, however, you have to start somewhere and the process will be different for each individual. We are complex human beings, which is awesome, but sometimes that complexity can be a bit too much to handle alone. An overactive mind (making lists, constantly thinking about the future, weighing out what if’s, etc.) is a common culprit to sleep deprivation. *In the next article, we will discuss some helpful tips to getting better sleep and dealing with the assortment of sleep inhibitors.
- Certain medications have a history for affecting sleep. Over the counter cold, flu, and pain relievers sometimes contain caffeine. Also, some beta-blockers and antidepressants have a side effect related to trouble sleeping.
- Medical conditions, such as asthma, acid reflux, heartburn, musculoskeletal disorders, and diabetes, among other conditions can greatly impact our quality of sleep.
- Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea (which we will go into great detail about later), contribute to our sleep problems.
These are just a few common reasons why some of us can’t obtain the sleep that we need. Once you know your problem, it is easier to seek a solution. Next week, we share some helpful tips for shutting down at night and getting the rest your body and mind deserves.
It is safe to say that it is common knowledge that proper nutrition, exercise, 7-9 hours a sleep a night, adequate water intake, and limited alcohol and other substances (tobacco, sugar, caffeine, etc.) is necessary in order to lead a healthy life. Whether we adhere to that combination is a different story, but nonetheless is it well-known information. For some reason, quality sleep is often left out of the equation. According to a study conducted by the Sleep Foundation, 35% of Americans report that their sleep quality is poor. While a lot of us are getting the recommended amount of sleep, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are getting the quality of sleep that our bodies require to function properly.
You might be surprised to learn that when you lack quality sleep, and we’ve not talking every now and then, but over a prolonged period of time, your health can greatly suffer. This is a serious matter. It is more serious than just having those groggy, sleepy, draggy kinds of mornings after a restless night.
Prolonged poor quality sleep can lead to, increase, and or cause a number of maladies.
Here are just a few.
- Increased appetite due to increased levels of ghrelin (the hormone that stimulates appetite) and decreased levels of leptin (the hormone that suppresses appetite), which can lead to weight gain.
- Increased inflammation in the body.
- Increased risk of heart disease.
- Increased risk of stroke.
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Decreased concentration and productivity.
- Decreased immunity.
- Decreased emotional and social interactions.
- Decreased athletic and physical performance.
- Can cause premature skin aging (lackluster skin, fine lines, dark circles, and uneven skin due to collagen breakdown).
There can be so many different contributing factors when it comes to one’s poor sleeping history. It is important to examine those potential causes in order to address how to eliminate them. One problem, in particular, you might have but never knew was an issue (Dr. Steve is an expert on this one)! This series on sleep will unfold from more general information to more specific in an effort to help you obtain the sleep that you need and deserve! The direction we are heading will have a direct focus on sleep apnea.
Your skin is often a good indicator of your overall health. It is your biggest organ and the one that noticeably changes with age and due to environmental influences. Everyday we are exposed to free radicals from the sun, stress, air pollution, and other toxins. Through diet, hydration, sleep, exercise, and proper skin protection and care, we have the power to slow down the visible aging process. There is no fountain of youth, however there are ways to age gracefully, which should be the real goal.
The HydraFacial MD, which Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness offers in the office, has a very fountain of youth-esqueness to it though! Regular HydraFacial MD treatments are capable of improving overall skin health, while also remedying fine line, wrinkles, elasticity, firmness, skin tone evenness, vibrancy, skin texture, hyperpigmentation, photo damage, congested skin, enlarged pores, and advanced signs of aging.
What is HydraFacial MD?
“HydraFacial MD is an invigorating treatment that can be given in as little as 30 minutes. It delivers long-term skin health and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of all skin types. It offers instant, noticeable results with no downtime or irritation. The Hydra Facial MD treatment removes dead skin cells and extracts impurities while simultaneously bathing the new skin with cleansing, hydrating, and moisturizing serums. The treatment is soothing, refreshing, non-irritating, and immediately effective.”
Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness prides itself on providing you with the best information, care, and skincare products to compliment your smile. “A smile makes a face, a face makes a smile.” We want you to feel radiant, confident, and happy with the face that you put forward to the world. If you are interested in the HydraFacial MD and or any other of our skin care and cosmetics products, Ivonne or Honi will be more than happy to share all that we have to offer you.
Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”
Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.
A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:
- Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
- Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
- Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
- Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.
If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”