Category Archives: Dental Conditions

Dental Treatment Precautions During Pregnancy

Priorities During Pregnancy

Which dental treatments can you receive during pregnancy?

Receiving a dental cleaning during pregnancy is not a bud deal and is quite routine. On the other hand, receiving elective or cosmetic treatments, such as fillings, wisdom removals and dental implants, is generally discouraged during pregnancy. Only cleanings and emergency dental treatments are allowed during this period. Invasive dental treatments, basically those involving a shot, should be performed only on emergency basis and with extra caution.

But what if there’s a huge cavity which may hit my tooth nerve if I wait much longer?

Fixing cavities during pregnancy can be risky and is not advisable. Most cavities require a shot. Additionally, if the filling causes pain afterwards you will require additional X-rays. Both getting a shot and taking X-rays are discouraged during pregnancy. There’s always the risk that your filling ends up getting too close, or even hitting, your tooth nerve. If your filling ends up causing pain and discomfort, treating it can be a major headache when you’re pregnant. In all honesty, a cavity which has been there for a while already, can probably stay there for a few more months, so fix them at your own risk!

If you’re really worried about the cavity getting bigger, you can always ask your dentist to place a temporary filling on the tooth to cover it for the time being. Temporary fillings can be placed without using any anesthesia or the need to drill into your tooth. A temporary filling will seal off your cavity to help protect it until you can receive definitive treatment after delivery.

Surprise, Surprise: Most dentists don’t like doing too much work on you when you’re pregnant!

Most dentists aren’t too comfortable treating pregnant patients. The same dentist who was pushing you to get this and that fixed just a few months ago is now going to avoid even the most basic treatment during your pregnancy! This is because there is too much liability in treating pregnant patients. However, if you do end up with emergency toothache, and go through the troubles of obtaining a medical clearance letter, then you should be able to get some minimal treatment from your dentist. Nevertheless, there’s only a limited number of treatments your dentists will most likely render during your pregnancy:

Dental cleaning

Cleanings are safe on pregnant patients an in fact can be very beneficial in getting gum bleeding under control. Try to get your dental cleaning during your second trimester if possible.

Partial root canal treatment (known as a pulpectomy)

This is basically an incomplete root canal therapy which is intended to temporarily relieve your pain until definitive treatment.

Complete root canal treatment

Your dentist will only finish your root canal if he or she is confident it will be an easy one and won’t require too many X-rays. Otherwise you will most likely be referred out to an endodontist (root canal specialist).

Tooth extraction

Again, dentists usually only extract teeth if they are very simple to remove. For everything else, you will most likely be referred out to an oral surgeon.

So what will my dentist do for my pain if I’m pregnant?

Which treatment you receive will most likely depend on what your dentist is comfortable with. Should your dentist refuse to offer you the treatment of your choice, consider asking him or her for a referral to the appropriate dental specialist. You will likely be sent to either an oral surgeon to remove the offending tooth or an endodontist to perform a root canal or pulpectomy to save your tooth. Dental specialists are more skilled at their specialty treatment so they are better suited to manage pregnant patients.

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What are the protocols for seeing the dentist during pregnancy?

Tooth Sensitivity Treatment: Treatment by your Dentist

Tooth Sensitivty Treatment

You’ve been experiencing tooth sensitivity when you eat or drink hot, sour and particularly cold food items. So is it time to go to the dentist to treat your tooth sensitivity? Of course, it’s always best to see your dentist first to determine the cause of your sensitivity to make sure nothing serious is going on. Here is why:

Desensitizing toothpastes won’t help if your sensitivity is caused by cavities

Teeth can become sensitive when they are developing cavities. This type of sensitivity gets worse as the cavity starts to encroach on the tooth nerve. Once the cavity has finally hit the nerve, the sensitivity turns into serious pain. Using a desensitizing toothpaste will have no impact and postponing dental treatment will only result in a toothache! You need to go and have these cavities fixed, which should also help with the sensitivity as well. Your dentist can best determine if the source of your tooth sensitivity is from cavities or root exposure to best guide you in the right direction.

Desensitizing toothpastes may mask symptoms of gum disease

Your teeth can also become sensitive once you develop gum disease. Gum disease makes you lose gum and supporting bones and your tooth roots become exposed and develop sensitivity. Using a desensitizing toothpaste may actually help out with the sensitivity but it does nothing to stop or treat the progression of gum disease. If you continue to avoid the dentist and simply rely on the relief that the toothpaste provides, then the gum disease is continually progressing and becoming worse. This may eventually lead to your teeth loosening and you could end up losing numerous teeth as a result. You should go to the dentist first to identify and treat the gum disease before beginning to rely on desensitizing toothpastes for additional help.

You can build up resistance to desensitizing toothpastes

Using desensitizing toothpastes for short time periods is typically not an issue. However, using them long-term is not as effective. You will typically start to build up some level of resistance to desensitizing toothpastes over time. If you’re younger and have severe tooth sensitivity, you might want to discuss other solutions with your dentist to see what dental treatments may be available to better address your problem over the long run. These treatments will range from fillings and crowns to gum grafts to name a few.

How do dentists treat teeth sensitivity?

Tooth Sensitivity Treatment Options

Treatment varies and depends on the actual cause of your tooth sensitivity. Here are some common treatments that dentists can offer you to resolve your tooth sensitivity problem:

Noninvasive treatment

If you have very minor sensitivity, your dentist may elect to treat you with non-invasive treatment methods. One option is to place a desensitizing agent, such as Gluma desensitizer, to help block out teeth nerve receptors. Laser has also shown some effectiveness in helping to reduce tooth sensitivity. Finally, your dentist may prescribe you a desensitizing toothpaste or Fluoride gel to help reduce your tooth sensitivity. Keep in mind that these treatment methods typically provide only temporary relief and only help with mild cases of sensitivity and are not effective for more serious ones.

Placing filings to cover your exposed roots

Fillings Covering Exposed Roots

For less sensitive cases involving exposed roots, treatment typically involves placing a filling on the exposed tooth roots. While effective, most of these fillings typically fall off after a few years, leaving you as sensitivity as you were before receiving treatment. Additionally, be sure to stop brushing hard so that the fillings hold up over time.

Crowns or root canals

If you have more severe tooth sensitivity, or if your teeth have severe damaged, then a filling simply will not do. The better treatment option in these more advanced sensitivity cases is to place a crown, or even a root canal, on these ultra-sensitive teeth. The crown will protect the entire tooth and the root canal will remove the nerve, which is the part of the tooth responsible for pain and sensitivity.

Gum graft

A final option to treating sensitive teeth caused by exposed roots is gum graft surgery. The gum graft is place where you have exposed roots to cover these areas and thus reduce sensitivity. This is actually a complicated and costly surgery and is typically reserved for more serious cases. Nevertheless it can cover the exposed teeth areas without the need to grind down and damage your teeth.

NEXT >> How to Decide?

Tooth Sensitivity Dilemma: Using Desensitizing Toothpastes

Tooth Sensitivity Dilemma: How to Decide on What to do?

How to Decide on What to do with Tooth SensitivityTooth Sensitivity Dilemma

 

So your teeth are sensitive and you’re not sure what to do. Your two basic options are to either go to the dentist or use a desensitizing toothpaste. In order to determine which is the best route for you, answer the following questions:

  1. Have you seen a dentist before to identify the source of your tooth sensitivity?
  2. Have you checked with your dentist to make sure that your tooth sensitivity is not a result of cavities or gum disease?
  3. Was your tooth sensitivity previously diagnosed as sensitivity subsequent to exposed tooth roots or a result of using too much teeth whitening products?

Best to see the Dentist First

If you  answered “no” to any of the above questions, then you need to go and see a dentist first prior to relying on a desensitizing toothpaste. You must determine what the cause of your tooth sensitivity is prior to using a desensitizing toothpaste. If your sensitivity is from anything other than exposed roots or bleaching gels, then it is important that your dentist treats the underlying problem before it gets worse. Sensitivity toothpastes can not fix cavities, replenish gums or remove tartar. Thus, be sure that there’s nothing more serious going on with your mouth before relying too much on these toothpastes.

Candidate for Using Sensitivity Toothpaste

If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions then you’re probably a good candidate for using sensitivity toothpastes. If you have previously consulted with your dentist and have positively identified the source of your tooth sensitivity as gum loss and root exposure, then you’re a good candidate for continual use of a desensitizing toothpaste. Sensodyne is probably the most popular sensitivity toothpaste, but pretty much all other toothpaste manufacturers make some type of a desensitizing toothpaste. Try them to see if one works for you and stick with that one.

 

Final Thought

It’s always best that you visit the dentist first to identify the source of your tooth sensitivity. While relying a toothpaste may sound a lot easier than going to the dentist, without properly identifying the source of your tooth sensitivity you might be taking a big risk. While desensitizing toothpastes can be quite effective in treating sensitivities originating from exposed tooth roots and bleaching gels, they are powerless in addressing sensitivity caused by cavities or gum disease. Delaying treatment will only worsen these conditions and can result in pain, infection or possibly tooth loss.

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity for the first time, it’s best to go see the dentist to identify the source of your tooth sensitivity. It’s fine if you start using a desensitizing toothpaste right away in case you’re in pain or don’t want to wait until your dental appointment. If you do choose to start using a desensitizing toothpaste right away, be sure to provide your dentist with this information to better assist him or her in diagnosing your problem. Either way, there really is no drawbacks to using a desensitizing toothpaste so long as you seek professional care to determine a definitive cause and solution.

NEXT >> Using Desensitizing Toothpastes

Tooth Sensitivity Dilemma: Going to the Dentist