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Dental Problems and Solutions

Tooth Decay

Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease. While caries might not endanger your child’s life, it may negatively impact their quality of life.

When teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that destroy tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks, sports drinks and even fruit juices feed the bacteria that produce acid. Don’t be hoodwinked by the fact that “natural” or “no sugar” added fruit juice is safe. Fruit juice is as bad for our teeth as Coca-Cola due to its acidic nature and sugar content known as fructose. 

Canker Sores

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Many apthous ulcers are caused by trauma such as injuring the gums with a toothbrush. However, sometimes they can be caused by a chemical found in many toothpastes. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents or can be cauterized in our office, if needed. A canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.

Orthodontic Problems

A bite that does not meet properly (malocclusion) can be inherited or in many instances acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions. Dr. Armstrong, Dr. Watts and Dr. Capeci evaluate each patient for their orthodontic need and make referrals to an Orthodontist when necessary.

Tooth Ache

Begin by cleaning around the sore tooth meticulously. Using warm saltwater, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you put an aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. For temporary relief, alternating an oral dose of acetaminophen and ibuprofen is highly effective for tooth pain.

In the event of a facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area and see a dentist or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Ice can be applied to any bruised areas. For bleeding, apply firm (but gentle) pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, go to the closest emergency room.

Broken Tooth

Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Recover any broken tooth fragments. Most broken teeth do not require immediate care; however, you should contact your dental office and discuss your child’s condition.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth if possible. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk, or have a parent place the tooth in their own mouth for transport. (DO NOT PUT IN WATER.) Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.

Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out

Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area. Hold the gauze or rag in place for 15 minutes. If bleeding continues, a moist tea bag, which contains tannic acid, placed on the site with pressure for 5 minutes should stop the bleeding.

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