Sunday, 6 October 2019

Root Canals: FAQs About Treatment That Can Save Your Tooth


If you have a severely damaged, decaying tooth or a serious tooth infection (abscess), your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. Root canals are used to repair and save your tooth instead of removing it. 

What’s Involved in Root Canal Repair?

The pulp is soft tissue inside your tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels and provides nourishment for your tooth. It can become infected if you have: 
  • A deep cavity
  • Repeated dental procedures that disturb this tissue
  • A cracked or fractured tooth
  • Injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)
If untreated, the tissues around the root of your tooth can become infected. When this happens, you will often feel pain and swelling and an abscess may form inside the tooth and/or in the bone around the end of the root of the tooth. An infection can also put you at risk of losing your tooth completely because bacteria can damage the bone that keeps your tooth connected to your jaw.

Can I Get This Treatment Done During My Regular Check-up Visit?

Your dentist will need to schedule a follow up appointment, or you may be referred to a dentist who specializes in the pulp and tissues surrounding the teeth. This specialist is known as an endodontist.

What Should I Expect?

A root canal treatment usually takes 1 or 2 office visits to complete. There is little to no pain because your dentist will use local anesthesia so you don’t feel the procedure. Once the procedure is complete, you should no longer feel the pain you felt before having it done. 
Before treatment begins, your dentist will:
  • Take X-rays to get a clear view of your tooth and the surrounding bone. 
  • Numb the area around and including your tooth so you are comfortable during the treatment. 
  • Put a thin sheet of latex rubber over your tooth to keep it dry, clean and protected from viruses, bacteria and fungus that are normally in the mouth.
During treatment, your dentist will:
  • Create an opening in the top of your tooth.
  • Remove the tooth’s nerve from inside the tooth and in the areas in the root, known the root canal. 
  • Clean inside the tooth and each root canal. Your dentist may treat the tooth with germ-killing medicine.
  • Fill the root canals with a rubber-like material to seal them against future infection.
  • Place a temporary filling on the tooth to protect it until a definitive restoration like a permanent filling or crown can be placed at the earliest opportunity.
After root canal treatment:
  • Your tooth and the area around it may feel sensitive for a few days. You can talk with your dentist about how to relieve any discomfort you may have.
  • Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics if the infection spread. Use as directed, and follow up with your dentist if you have any problems taking it.
You will need a follow-up visit after the root canal treatment. At this visit, your dentist will remove the temporary filling on the tooth and replace it with a regular filling or a crown to protect your tooth from further damage. A metal or plastic post may also be placed in the root canal to help make sure the filling materials remain in place. This helps support a crown if you need one.

How Long Will a Root Canal Filling Last?

With proper care, your restored tooth can last a lifetime. Make it a point to brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, clean between your teeth once a day and see your dentist regularly to make sure your teeth are strong and healthy.
To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org
Dr. Rick Kava's Sioux City Dental 
2930 Hamilton Blvd., Upper F Suite 101 
Sioux City, IA 51104 
(712) 258-6169 
DrKava.com

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Warning Signs & Factors of a Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem: 

  • gums that bleed easily
  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • any change in the fit of partial dentures

Some factors increase the risk of developing gum disease. They are:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetics
  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean 
  • pregnancy 
  • diabetes 
  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
See your dentist if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing. 
Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States. It can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.
Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone and may occur in some areas of the mouth, or in the entire mouth.
Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke.
It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Remember: You don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. Brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org
Dr. Rick Kava's Sioux City Dental 
2930 Hamilton Blvd., Upper F Suite 101 
Sioux City, IA 51104 
(712) 258-6169 
DrKava.com


Sunday, 15 September 2019

Gum Pain Causes, Relief and Treatments

What Causes Painful Gums?

If you experience painful gums when you eat, drink, brush, or floss, you may be wondering what’s causing it and how you can treat it. Painful or bleeding gums can be caused by improper brushing or flossing techniques, gum disease, chemotherapy, tobacco use, or certain hormonal changes. It is very common for gum disease to lead to pain and bleeding, so resolving the problem is an important part of keeping your gums healthy. Your gums provide the overall support for your teeth and the basis of a healthy mouth, and if not properly cared for, early gum disease can progress to other serious oral health problems.
Below are several different causes of gum pain. Being familiar with these causes of gum pain can help you talk to your dental or medical professional when they’re diagnosing the cause of your discomfort.
  • Canker Sores: These are painful ulcers found in your mouth that can cause serious gum pain. Canker sores can be caused by stress or injury to the tissue in your mouth, or an underlying health condition such as an impaired immune system, nutritional deficiencies, or gastrointestinal disease.
  • Cuts or Abrasions: Gum pain can often be caused by a simple cut or abrasion. Braces or other dental hardware such as dentures or retainers can irritate the tissue and cause gum pain.
  • Gum Disease or Infection: Gum pain associated with sensitive or bleeding gums is often caused by gum disease or gum infection. The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, affects approximately one in two American adults and can cause chronic gum pain and sensitivity. If not treated properly by removing plaque from the teeth and around the gum line, gingivitis can progress to more serious gum infection.
  • Sinus Infection: A sinus infection, otherwise known as sinusitis, occurs when the tissue lining of your sinuses is swollen or inflamed, and can lead to sinus gum pain. Sinuses are normally filled with air, but when they become filled with fluid, germs can grow and lead to infection. Approximately 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year, so sinus gum pain and dental pain are very common. 
If you notice any of these symptoms along with gum pain, you may want to consult with a medical professional to confirm the diagnosis and get treatment recommendations. Regardless of where your gum pain is located or its cause, chances are you’ll want to address it quickly.

Gum Pain Relief and Treatments

Gum pain can manifest in different ways. Some people experience gum pain in a single area of the gums, while others suffer from gum pain throughout their mouths. If you don’t take good care of your gums, they can deteriorate, become inflamed, infected, cut or even suffer from disease.
While there are many causes for tooth and gum pain, the treatment for most causes is pretty standard. Implementing an effective oral hygiene routine will most often help improve the health of your gums. 

A few gum pain remedies include: 
Other ways to reduce gum pain may include avoiding the use of tobacco, improving your nutrition, or reducing stress in your life. These important steps combined with an effective oral hygiene regimen can help bring your gums back to good health.
To read the entire article visit crest.com

Dr. Rick Kava's Sioux City Dental 
2930 Hamilton Blvd., Upper F Suite 101 
Sioux City, IA 51104 
(712) 258-6169 
DrKava.com


Friday, 6 September 2019

Dental Grills — The New Trend Affecting Dentistry And The Health Of Your Teeth

It’s the latest trend in dental wear, but there’s nothing cool about the damage it could do to your smile. Dental Grills are a cosmetic, metal and sometimes jeweled tooth covering developed in the early 1980s by hip hop artists. Grills, also called fronts, are removable and fit over the front teeth. Dental grills are made of gold, silver or jewel encrusted metals that run as little as $20 and well into the thousands for more elaborate designs.
Can Wearing a Dental Grill create Oral Health Problems? 
Yes, they can. It’s important to conduct thorough oral hygiene procedures including flossing and brushing with an anti-microbial toothpaste as food and plaque can easily develop on the grill and can cause irritation to the gingival margin and gingivitis may develop and the possibility of tooth decay. Dental grills can also cause abrasion to adjoining teeth, gum recession, tooth discoloration or chipped teeth. A grill should always be removed before eating or rinsing to clean the mouth, and may cause an allergic reaction to the metal.
School districts in Alabama, Georgia, and Texas have banned grills from their use due to disciplinary and health related reasons1. It is important to consult with a dentist regarding the steps for dental grill placement and the implications on your oral health.
Who Makes the Dental Grill? 
A dentist should make a dental grill by taking a proper impression of the teeth versus a jeweler or a grill vendor. A non-licensed dental professional could cause worse dental and oral health problems.
To read the entire article visit colgate.com

Dr. Rick Kava's Sioux City Dental 
2930 Hamilton Blvd., Upper F Suite 101 
Sioux City, IA 51104 
(712) 258-6169 
DrKava.com

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Aging and Dental Health

As you age, it becomes even more important to take good care of your teeth and dental health. One common misconception is that losing your teeth is inevitable. This is not true. If cared for properly, your teeth can last a lifetime.
Your mouth changes as you age. The nerves in your teeth can become smaller, making your teeth less sensitive to cavities or other problems. If you don’t get regular dental exams, this in turn can lead to these problems not being diagnosed until it is too late. 
If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes.

Tips for Maintaining and Improving Your Oral Health

  • Brush twice a day with a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
  • Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another flossing tool.
  • If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis. Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day. It’s best to remove them at night. 
  • Drink tap water. Since most contains fluoride, it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are.
  • Quit smoking. Besides putting you at greater risk for lung and other cancers, smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss.
  • Visit your dentist. Visit your dentist regularly for a complete dental check-up. 
By adopting healthy oral habits at home, making smart choices about diet and lifestyle, and seeking regular dental care, you can help your teeth last a lifetime—whether you have your natural teeth, implants or wear dentures. 

Caregiving for a Disabled or Elderly Loved One  

You may have a parent, spouse or friend who has difficulty maintaining a healthy mouth on their own. How can you help? Two things are critical:
  • Help them keep their mouth clean with reminders to brush and floss daily. 
  • Make sure they get to a dentist regularly. 
These steps can prevent many problems, but tasks that once seemed so simple can become very challenging. If your loved one is having difficulty with brushing and flossing, talk to a dentist or hygienist who can provide helpful tips or a different approach. There are dentists who specialize in caring for the elderly and disabled. You can locate a specialist through the Special Care Dentistry Association’s referral directory. For those who wear dentures, pay close attention to their eating habits. If they’re having difficulty eating or are not eating as much as usual, denture problems could be the cause.
When you’re caring for someone who is confined to bed, they may have so many health problems that it’s easy to forget about oral health. However, it’s still very important because bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs and cause pneumonia.
If you are a representative for a nursing home resident who needs dental care and is enrolled in Medicaid, there is a regulation, called an Incurred Medical Expense, that may help pay for medically necessary care as determined by a dentist. The Medicaid caseworker at the nursing facility and the dentist providing care can work together to apply the Incurred Medical Expense to pay for needed dental benefits.
To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org
Dr. Rick Kava's Sioux City Dental 
2930 Hamilton Blvd., Upper F Suite 101 
Sioux City, IA 51104 
(712) 258-6169 
DrKava.com

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Teaching Teens Proper Oral Hygiene

When your teen is already busy with friends, schoolwork and catching up on sleep, proper oral hygiene can go on the back burner. When running late for school, sometimes there just isn't time for a full two minutes of toothbrushing. But as a parent, it's up to you to make sure that your teen practices good dental care. By making oral hygiene part of a simple daily routine, you can help your teen sneak in regular brushing and flossing along with all the other plans in his or her schedule.
Use Teen-Based Products
One of the reasons teens might be slacking in the dental care department is the fact that most oral hygiene products aren't exactly tailored to adolescent tastes. Strong flavors and boring designs could make teens less than enthused when it comes to daily care. That's where youth-geared products can really come in handy. By appealing to teens' tastes and style, it's easier to coax them into a daily care routine. Check out the Colgate®Fresh Confidence product line, designed with adolescents in mind.
Try Apps and Timers
One of the biggest issues for teens and proper oral hygiene is the fact that when they do brush, it might not be for a long enough period of time. Teens Health by the Nemours Foundation recommends that adolescents brush for two or three minutes; sometimes teens are lucky if they clock a meager 30 seconds. Therefore, using smartphone timer apps or even an egg timer can help teens become more aware of how long they should be brushing. Or, if your teen is never without his or her headphones, use a three-minute song as a guideline for brushing.
Limit Soda and Candy
Teens seem to be able to exist on a steady diet of soda, chips and candy, but those kinds of treats can wreak havoc on teeth. A diet high in sugar promotes bacteria and cavities. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 15 percent of children and teens between the ages of 6-19 have untreated cavities. By making healthier treats and drinks readily available, teens might be less likely to nosh on sugary foods. Keep bottled water, cut vegetables, whole-grain crackers and other sugar-free treats at the ready for convenient snacking.
Appeal to Confidence
Teens are notoriously concerned with their looks, so appealing to their image can be one way to encourage teens to brush up on their oral hygiene habits. Gently reminding teens that a slack dental care routine could result in yellow stains and bad breath can help remind them that the importance of toothbrushing is more than just staying cavity-free. If your teen is self-conscious about his or her smile, whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes can help improve confidence and contribute to a regular hygiene habit.
While teens might be perpetually time-crunched, skipping regular oral care to catch a few more minutes of sleep in the morning can have serious consequences. Making oral hygiene simple, quick and personalized may inspire your teen to brush regularly — and maybe even get to school on time.

To read the entire article visit colgate.com

Dr. Rick Kava's Sioux City Dental 
2930 Hamilton Blvd., Upper F Suite 101 
Sioux City, IA 51104 
(712) 258-6169 
DrKava.com


Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: Causes & Prevention

Even though they are temporary, your child's baby teeth are important, and are still susceptible to cavities. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Early Childhood Caries. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. Their first teeth also help make sure their adult teeth come in correctly. It’s important to start infants off with good oral care to help protect their teeth for decades to come. 

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.
There are many factors which can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby. 
Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby. 
If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay. The good news is that decay is preventable. 

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

  • Try not to share saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth. 
  • When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and a smear (or grain of rice sized amount) of fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3. 
  • Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from the ages of 3 to 6.
  • Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste—usually not before he or she is 6 or 7. 
  • Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks. 
  • Infants should finish their bedtime and nap time bottles before going to bed. 
  • If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean—don’t dip it in sugar or honey. 
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his/her first birthday. 
  • Encourage healthy eating habits. 
When your child’s first tooth appears, talk to your dentist about scheduling the first dental visit. Treat the first dental visit as you would a well-baby checkup with the child’s physician. Remember: starting early is the key to a lifetime of good dental health. For more information about nutrition and your baby, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
To read the entire article visit mouthhealthy.org
Dr. Rick Kava's Sioux City Dental 
2930 Hamilton Blvd., Upper F Suite 101 
Sioux City, IA 51104 
(712) 258-6169 
DrKava.com