cold sore dentist

Dealing with Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Fun in the summer sun can cause unpleasant side effects such as cold sores and fever blisters. Brought on by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), cold sores and fever blisters are transmitted from person to person by saliva or by skin contact. With cold sores, you generally develop clusters of tiny blisters on the lip. Most people are exposed to HSV-1 before age 10. After the first infection, the virus remains inactive until stress, illness, or sun exposure causes a new outbreak.

During the first exposure, you may have headache, nausea, fever, and/or vomiting. Patients may also have painful swelling and open mouth sores. Most of the time, cold sores or fever blisters appear on the edges of your lips. Usually, these outbreaks start with tingling or burning followed by swelling or redness. One or more blisters will typically appear within 24 to 48 hours.

Initial symptoms can last for 7 to 14 days. When the cold sores or blisters reappear, they generally crust over in about four days and then heal within 10 days. You may want to visit your doctor or dentist the first time you develop cold sores or fever blisters, but after that, you shouldn’t need medical attention. Keep the area clean and apply topical medication to lessen symptoms as well as promote healing.

Preventing a first infection for loved ones involves making sure that no one with an active fever blister kisses your kids or other family members. Sunscreen can help protect your lips from cold sores brought on by too much time in the sun.

Dentist in Clinton NJ

Chewing gum and teeth

How Does Chewing Gum Affect my Teeth?

Gone are the days when chewing gum is considered poor etiquette. In today’s society, you can find people chewing gum in business meetings, church, and just about every other situation. With gum chewing so prevalent, you may have wondered what it’s doing to people’s teeth. You may be surprised to learn that research shows that chewing sugarless gum has a number of dental benefits. Let’s see how it can actually be a helpful addition to your oral care routine.

Saliva flow
Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which rinses away food particles. Saliva also neutralizes acids that result from bacteria in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Known to carry with it calcium and phosphate, increased saliva flow also helps strengthen your tooth enamel.

ADA acceptance
Choose gum with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal, indicating it as met the required safety and effectiveness criteria. This approval means that you can trust the gum’s packaging and labeling to be true.

Sugarless
The only gums carrying the ADA Seal are sugarless. They contain sweeteners that don’t cause cavities, like aspartame, mannitol, sorbitol, or xylitol. Chewing gum with xylitol is especially recommended, because it has been shown to combat tooth decay and cavities.

Dental hygiene
Even though chewing gum can be beneficial, remember that brushing and flossing are still the best ways to care for your teeth. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss every day to remove plaque and debris between your teeth. Between these dental hygiene tasks, however, it is acceptable to chew sugarless gum to continue caring for your mouth during the day.

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General dentist in Clinton NJ

Make Your Dental Visits a Success

At least twice a year, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist. These visits allow your dentist to assess you oral health, address any concerns you have, and look for signs of problems. Protecting your teeth and gums is a partnership between you and your dentist. For the best results, follow these helpful hints:

Find the right dentist in Clinton NJ

Selecting a provider and dental office that fits your personality will make you more likely to keep your appointments.

Provide an accurate health history
Although your dentist’s primary concern is your mouth, overall wellness can impact your dental health. For example, chronic health issues like diabetes and HIV can increase your risk for gum disease.

Bring a list of current medications
Your dentist needs to know the names and dosages of any medicine you take regularly. Certain medications, such as pain relievers, allergy medicines, and anti-depressants, can cause dry mouth, which may make you susceptible to dental problems.

Report any issues right away
Sometimes, you may develop a toothache or notice bleeding gums between your visits. Don’t ignore these symptoms because they may indicate bigger problems. The longer you wait to address any issues, the more time and money you will lose.

Share your fears
For some people, dental visits cause anxiety or fear. Let your dentist know exactly what worries you. Most doctors want you to feel relaxed and comfortable, so they will take time to answer your questions and help you feel at ease.

We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

 

dentistry

What Your Teeth Say About Your Health

Your body is a little bit like a puzzle. It gives you clues to help you figure out what’s going on within your body. Did you know your mouth can give you hints about things that may be happening elsewhere in your body? Here’s a list of some of the signs your mouth can give you to pay attention to certain other aspects of your health.

Worn teeth and headache
If your teeth are showing extensive wear, you may be grinding your teeth. This would be even a stronger possibility if you’re also experiencing regular headaches, which can be caused by the muscle tension related to teeth grinding. This condition also indicates that you are likely under too much stress, and that you are unconsciously coping with it by grinding your teeth.

Gums covering teeth
If your gums begin to grow over your teeth and you are on medication, it may mean that your medication is at fault. Some medicines can cause your gums to overgrow, and the dosage needs to be adjusted.

Mouth sores
An open sore in your mouth that doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks can be an indicator of oral cancer. Numbness and unexplained bleeding in your mouth are other signs. Smokers and people over age 60 are at the most risk, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect others too. See your dentist to make sure all is okay.

Cracked teeth
If your teeth begin to crack or wear extensively, you may have gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). It’s a digestive disease that allows stomach acid to flow back into your food pipe and mouth. This acid can cause your teeth to deteriorate. Additional signs of GERD are acid reflux, heartburn, and dry mouth.

Unclean dentures
If you wear dentures, make sure you remove and clean them regularly. Inhaling food debris from your dentures that makes its way to your lungs can lead to pneum

Soda and your teeth

Stop the Pop!!

Whether you call it pop, soda, soft drink, or something else, these terms all refer to a sugary, carbonated drink popular all over the country. It is estimated that Americans consume over 13 billion gallons of soft drinks each year. These beverages can cause serious health problems, including negative effects on your oral health.

Soft drinks are one of the most significant reasons for tooth decay, and it impacts all age groups. From babies drinking it out of bottles to teenagers drinking it all day long to older adults sipping it in retirement homes, it is deteriorating tooth enamel and eroding gums of everyone who consumes it.

Why are soft drinks harmful?
The high sugar content in the drinks is the root cause of trouble, and the high acid content adds to the threat. The sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to create an acid, which adds to the acid from the drink itself. Then this mixture attacks your teeth. Each time you take a drink of the carbonated beverage, an acid attack begins in your mouth. During this time, your tooth enamel is weakened and cavities are just waiting to form. You may think that the risk goes away by drinking sugar-free soft drinks. Although these are less harmful, they are still acidic and can lead to decay.

How can I avoid harming my teeth?
The ideal way to rule out risks from soft drinks is to cut them out of your diet completely. If you think you just can’t live without them, here are some suggestions:

  • Drink more water.
  • Set a good example. Drink alternatives yourself and encourage your kids to do the same.
  • Sip with straws. This helps keep the sugar from direct contact with your teeth.
  • Rinse with water. After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water to reduce the amount of sugar and acid hanging onto your teeth and gums.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse. Using fluoride in your daily dental routine helps to reduce decay and strengthen enamel. Also ask your dentist about the possible need for professional fluoride treatments.

General dentist in Clinton NJ – Schedule your appointment today.

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Restorative dentistry has made incredible advancements in the technology of restorative dental materials, and there are more options than ever today for your dental crown or dental bridge. Zirconium and porcelain have proven to provide lasting strength and durability, exhibiting the most natural cosmetic dental restorations available today. Each tooth in each mouth is different, however, and in some cases, resin composite or metal alloy might be the choice recommended for you.

Metals are a common choice for dental crowns and dental bridges. Gold or palladium alloys, as well as chromium or nickel (base-metal) alloys can be excellent choices. Metal alloy crowns show the least “wear down” over years of use. They almost never chip, break or wear down opposing teeth. The primary complaint about metal alloy materials is that their color is metallic and thereby unnatural. They will not blend with the surrounding teeth, and as such, they are chosen more for back molars where they won’t draw attention.

Dental composite/resin materials are a popular choice that can be made to blend with the surrounding teeth, but they’ve been shown to wear down over time and are more prone to fractures and breaking than other materials.

Porcelain can be fused to metal to form a natural-appearing crown or bridge, and because of their appearance, are a good choice for front or back teeth. Over time, however, discoloration can appear along the gum line as the porcelain wears away, leaving a dark, unsightly line. The porcelain can be fused to zirconium, however, which eliminates the dark line and is a good cosmetic choice for front teeth.

Crowns and bridges can also be made from all-porcelain or all-ceramic materials. These materials are the best choice for natural-looking teeth of the types of dental crown and dental bridge materials available in restorative dentistry today. Because they contain no metal, they are excellent choices for patients with metal allergies. They tend to be weaker and less durable than materials containing metals, however.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist today with any questions you have regarding what type of dental crown or bridge material is best for your smile needs.

Our dental office is located in Clinton NJ

vitamins and your teeth

Vitamins and Minerals that Keep Teeth Healthy

As we age, our teeth and gums change. Proper care of your teeth as well as eating a good diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong. Certain vitamins and minerals also help promote optimal oral health.

As we age, our teeth and gums change. Proper care of your teeth as well as eating a good diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong. Certain vitamins and minerals also help promote optimal oral health.

Vitamin A
Besides aiding with vision, Vitamin A also helps with the development of healthy teeth and gums. As well, Vitamin A contains beta-carotene, which has antioxidant properties. These antioxidants assist in getting rid of free radicals, chemicals that speed up decay in the body.

Vitamin C
Also called ascorbic acid, Vitamin C assists with the absorption of iron, maintains healthy connective tissues, and promotes strong teeth and gum tissue. Because Vitamin C is water-soluble, it is washed out of the body once it has what it needs, people should take in Vitamin C every day.

Vitamin D
Created after exposure to sunlight, Vitamin D encourages calcium absorption as well as helping keep the right levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood stream. Children need to get enough Vitamin D so that they will develop healthy teeth and bones, so it is often added to milk.

Calcium
No matter your age, every person needs to take in enough calcium because this mineral is crucial in the development and maintenance of teeth and bones. In fact, your jaw bone forms the foundation that houses your teeth.

Getting What You Need
Eating a balanced diet will ensure that your body has the vitamins and minerals needed to keep your smile vibrant for a lifetime. Dairy products like yogurt and cheese as well as vegetables such as broccoli and peas are high in calcium. Have lots of egg yolks, fatty fish, and fortified dairy products when you need Vitamin D. Citrus fruits, melons, berries, and tomatoes offer plenty of Vitamin C, and you can find Vitamin A in dark green or yellow fruits and vegetables, eggs, or low-fat dairy products.

 

smoking and teeth

Quit Smoking to Save your Smile

A number of serious health problems like cancer are linked to smoking, but your oral health is also at risk from using tobacco. Your teeth can be severely stained, turning them yellow or brown, and your lips can become darker too. Smokers have a higher risk of tooth decay, and bad breath is nearly inevitable. The negative outcomes of smoking continue to worsen the longer you keep doing it, so it’s highly advisable to kick the habit. However, as most smokers can attest, giving it up is not easy. Here are some tips that may help you quit smoking.

Make a list
Create a list of the reasons you’d like to quit smoking, and look at it often to remind you of your goals and the benefits you’ll achieve. These may include things like improving your overall health, restoring your smile, making loved ones proud of you, and even saving money.

Choose a date
Select a date on the calendar to stop, and stick to it. Having a concrete target can help you focus on the challenge ahead.

Ask for help
The support and encouragement from others can be a huge part of quitting smoking. Tell your family and friends about your goal, and allow them to play a part in accomplishing it.

Occupy your mouth
Sucking on sugarless candy or mints can keep your mouth busy, so you’ll be less inclined to put a cigarette in it. Chewing sugar-free gum is another great remedy for the urge to light up.

Keep busy
Try to find things to occupy your time and mind so that you aren’t constantly thinking about smoking. Take up a new hobby that involves both your mind and your hands so that you are busy with other, more beneficial, activities than puffing on a cigarette.

Schedule your appointment at our Clinton NJ dental office

Energy drinks and teeth

Energy Drinks and Your Teeth

Though sports drinks and energy drinks may provide refreshment after a workout or keep you awake to study, they can also do serious damage to your teeth. People often think of these drinks as healthy alternatives to soda, but that’s not the case. In fact, research shows that these beverages are up to 10 times worse for your oral health than cola.

The issue with sports and energy beverages comes from the high acidity. Manufacturers add acid to these drinks to balance the sugar. Even more than soft drinks, the acid in sports and energy beverages can erode tooth enamel, which increases the odds of cavities. Once teeth are weakened by decay, you become more susceptible to future problems down the road.

Another reason sports and energy drinks are problematic is the way people consume them. Because most individuals sip on them throughout the day, teeth are continuously exposed to the acid in the beverages. To minimize the risks to your oral health, consider these tips:

  • Use a straw when you consume these beverages because it restricts the amount of liquid that gets on your teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum, which promotes saliva production and rinses the acid from your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth right after drinking sugary beverages to remove any residue and keep teeth healthy.
  • Make H2O your first choice. Consuming lots of water and limiting intake of sodas, sports beverages, or energy drinks will help you stay hydrated and promote good oral health.

 

Family and general dentist in Clinton NJ

Restore Your Smile with Dental Crowns and Bridges

Restore Your Smile with Dental Crowns and Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges were originally made to fix terribly damaged or missing teeth. No matter how your teeth have been damaged, crown and bridge restorations can help to restore your beautiful smile.

Even one missing tooth can cause surrounding teeth to shift and create a crooked smile. Missing and broken teeth can also cause problems speaking and chewing. One of the best options for restoring function and improving the aesthetics of your smile are dental crowns and bridges.

Crowns are placed over a tooth to help restore form and function when a traditional filling is not sufficient to do the job. A bridge works to replace missing teeth. There are several options for the type of bridge that is placed, depending on your specific situation. Crowns and bridges can be made of natural looking tooth-colored material, metal, or some of both.

Crowns improve the look of your smile, improve the function of your teeth, and help restore your overall oral health. A crown can be used to repair and protect a tooth with old, broken-down fillings as well as to replace older, metal crowns. Crowns are also used to protect the existing tooth structure following root canal treatment.

Bridges are used to fill the space of missing teeth, to keep the remaining teeth from shifting and causing changes in the jaw and facial structure. Bridges are also used as an alternative to removable dentures. Bridges can be supported by either natural teeth or dental implants, and improve both the look and function of your smile.

If you are suffering from missing or damaged teeth, consult with your dental professional to find out more about how crowns and bridges can improve both the beauty and function of your smile.

We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area