It’s National Dental Hygiene Month…and Halloween | Tyngsboro Dentist

It may seem hard to believe, but October not only brings out tiny ghosts and goblins to our front door, but also celebrates the antithesis of sugary confections – National Dental Hygiene Month. With this conundrum in our midst, let’s focus on how to keep our teeth healthy while we enjoy our Halloween treats. After all, creating good dental habits will only prevent bad news during your next appointment.

Practice proper oral hygiene. First thing’s first – if you want to keep your smile looking healthy and bright, be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each session with a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss at least once a day and use a good fluoride mouthwash. Round that out with regular dental checkups and you are on the right track to a great smile for a long time to come.

Keep it out of your mouth. Chewing on things that do not belong in your mouth is never a good idea. Not only can you chip of crack a tooth, but you are slowly wearing your teeth down. Instead of an ice cube, chew on sugar-free gum. The saliva production you create will keep away cavity-causing bacteria.

Kick your smoking habits. If you ever needed another excuse to kick the habit, keeping your smile bright and shiny should be the main one. Not only are your teeth prone to staining, but smoking can also lead to mouth cancers and other harmful health issues.

October is a spooky time that everyone loves to celebrate. Keep the haunts out of your mouth with these simple dental tips.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Periodontitis: What You Need to Know | Tyngsboro Dentist

It has been proven that most Americans will develop some form of periodontal, or gum, disease at some point in their lives. We can help prevent it through good daily oral care and regular dental examinations. Unfortunately, if we don’t take these simple measures, it can lead to a more progressive form of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Periodontitis, one of the two types of progressive gum diseases that exist, is the worse of the two because it causes gums to become inflamed and eventually bleed. Untreated periodontitis can lead to missing teeth. While periodontitis is one of the two type of gum diseases, there are several types of periodontist that exist. Here is a quick rundown:

Aggressive periodontitis. This explains a rapidly progressive form of periodontitis that leads to gum deterioration and jawbone destruction.

Chronic periodontitis. This version is the most common form of the disease. Here, inflammation occurs at a slower rate, however may still eventually result in tooth loss.

Periodontitis. Periodontitis may occur in association with and be exacerbated by other health problems including diabetes, lung disorders, and heart disease.

Necrotizing periodontal disease. Individuals who have conditions such as malnutrition, HIV infection, and cancer are vulnerable to this type of periodontitis.

It is important to be aware of symptoms in order to have it treated before it progresses to something worse. If you have any of the following symptoms, seek dental care immediately so you may be treated:

  • Sensitive teeth, especially when faced with something cold, hot, or sweet
  • Swollen, irritated gums
  • Mouth pain
  • Mouth sores
  • Loose teeth
  • Frequent bleeding of the gums
  • Difficulty biting or chewing

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Keeping Your Smile Healthy at Home | Tyngsboro Dentist

While it is important to know that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies, it is also important to know that you are practicing proper dental hygiene. Here is a quick rundown of the basics. Practice them and your next dental visit will be a smooth one.

Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant. A few straight strokes won’t get the job done. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle when they touch your gum tissue. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque. When you move behind your front teeth, you should turn your tool vertically to better reach the entire tooth. And make sure to give special attention to the back of your mouth, since that area normally hides the largest amount of plaque. Adding some type of an oral rinse to your routine will be greatly beneficial to your oral health.

Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there. Brushing with a medium or hard model can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of your tooth’s roots. Since the root surface isn’t as hard as the exposed enamel-covered part of your teeth, scrubbing this area can wear it away more easily and cause little cavities. Pick a soft bristle and change your toothbrush every couple of months. If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately. Residual bacteria and viruses from an illness can cling to the brush and potentially re-infect you.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Should My Night Guard Be Custom? | Tyngsboro Dentist

nightguardIf you find that you are waking up with headaches and/or jaw pain, there is a chance that you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, otherwise called bruxism. It is important that you seek treatment for this condition as it can not only wear down your teeth but can cause even further issues to develop in your jaw. Speaking of bruxism, make sure that you consider other bruxism treatment options as well. Minimizing stress, changing your diet or medication, and fixing alignment issues with your teeth have all been proven to help with bruxism. Then there’s wearing a night guard while you sleep. There are a few on the market, ranging from store-bought to custom fitted – but which is the right one for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:

Store bought version. Store bought night guards, while durable and do well enough to stop teeth from grinding against each other, aren’t exactly very comfortable to wear. Although this style of mouth guard uses thin materials to make it more suitable for use at night, they’re still far too thick to not interfere with the quality of your sleep.

Custom-fit version. A custom-made night guard costs roughly ten or so times more than a store bought one. However, even with the added premium, they are still well worth the cost for the comfort, fit, and reliability of the materials used.

Custom made night guards are in a laboratory using an actual mold of your teeth, but the customization can extend further because the dentist can also recommend the thickness to fluctuate, depending on your particular case.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

How to Eat Your Way to Dental Health | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all know the basics of good dental hygiene – brush twice a day and avoid sugar. But there are also foods you can eat that will not only benefit your overall health but also your mouth. And if you want to keep your teeth throughout your life, it is wise that you have a combination of these basic tips in your day-to-day lifestyle.

Research indicates that antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts may strengthen immunity and improve the body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, all of which can help protect the teeth and gums. And some foods and dietary habits even have distinct effects on the mouth’s ability to handle cavity-causing bacteria spikes:

Dairy. Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D and help promote healthy teeth and bones, reducing the risk for tooth loss. Cheese unleashes a burst of calcium that mixes with plaque and sticks to the teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes decay and helping to rebuild tooth enamel on the spot.

Produce. Crispy fruits and vegetables help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath. Vitamin C, folic acid and other nutrients from fruits and vegetables will also help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.

Water. Believe it or not, but water is as effective as mouthwash at swishing away stuck particles and residue from teeth, while keeping your gums hydrated while stimulating saliva.

It is possible to eat your way to a cleaner mouth. So, try to work these everyday foods in order to maintain your oral hygiene.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

What Health Problems Are Associated with Bad Breath? | Tyngsboro Dentist

oral cancerLet’s face it – no one wants to hear they have bad breath. It is not only embarrassing but can cause problems with your social life. The best thing to do about bad breath is to find out why you have it. Sure, you can eat a lot of onions, but there are also reasons that can cause you to have chronic bad breath.

Gum disease. Constant bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins to form, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

Dental issues. Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental cavities.

Dry mouth. The medical condition dry mouth also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Other health issues. Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath, such as respiratory tract infections (pneumonia or bronchitis), chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

Eat Your Way to Pearly Whites | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all want to show off a shiny set of pearly whites. We buy products over-the-counter, practice proper dental hygiene and even have a dental professional give us the works with a whitening procedure. But did you know there is a natural way to keep those teeth bright white in between dental visits? According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, certain foods naturally cleanse, brighten, and defend against bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums. Here are the top 10:

Pinapples. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as a natural stain remover. Bromelain also helps break up plaque.

Ginger. Ginger can protect against periodontal disease, an inflammatory process that causes the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue in your mouth.

Carrots. Carrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel. Eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.

Basil. Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Cheese. Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which help reduce acid in your mouth.

Sesame seeds. Sesame seeds help “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth and contain bone and teeth-strengthening calcium.

Mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.

Onions. Onions contain the sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay. Problem is, you have to eat them raw.

Salmon. Salmon not only provides calcium but also vitamin D, another nutrient needed for healthy bones and teeth.

Broccoli. Broccoli contains iron, which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

Do I Need to See an Endodontist? | Tyngsboro Dentist

There’s nothing to argue about – toothaches are horrible, even worse when they get infected. Because if left untreated, you may need a root canal. The best dental professional for root canals? An endodontist, and here are five reasons why:

Anesthesia options. Root canal treatments are very painful and sometimes, the typical anesthesia just won’t be enough. Endodontists have more sedation options and are also much better trained in numbing up specific areas, such as those with severe infections.

Comfort. Endodontists have access to better tools and have gone through specialized training to make sure that the process goes smoothly with little pain involved.

Tooth preservation. Because of their expertise and training, endodontists can save even the most corrupted of teeth. This helps keep your smile look natural. While extraction is almost always an option, an endodontist will do everything possible to make sure that the corrupted teeth are saved.

Better emergency care. Not only do you get better quality care, but the endodontist can also see take care of your emergency much faster. This means you’ll rarely have to book an appointment many days prior and have your dental problem solved as soon as possible.

Specialized training and experience. Endodontists receive additional training to make sure that they can handle the complexities of root canals and re-treatments.

Given just how painful root canal treatments are, there’s just no way anyone would want to go through the same horrific experience again and again, so make sure the next time you need a root canal, see a specialist as soon as possible.

 

Start the Year Off with a Set of Pearly Whites | Tyngsboro Dentist

It can be argued that a person’s smile is one of the first thing a person notices upon meeting, keeping our smiles bright and clean is something we should all make a priority. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as it seems. Diets, habits and other reasons can cause our teeth to become dingy over time. Brushing twice a day and flossing almost always works to improve your yellow teeth. But, in the times that they don’t, it’s time to consider other options. With the new year upon us, why not work better dental habits into your list of resolutions?

Avoiding smoking will do wonders for your teeth, and health overall. So too will avoiding stain-causing beverages such as coffee and soda. Although, if it can’t be avoided, you can try to minimize the stains by drinking such beverages through a straw. Or, you can also try drinking milk or water after eating or drinking something acidic to reduce the acid’s eroding effect on the teeth. Avoiding snacks in between meals also helps give your saliva enough time to dilute the acids in your mouth.

Of course, brushing and flossing remain the two most important things you can do to prevent yellow teeth and to maintain oral health. OTC products, such as whitening toothpastes, whitening trays and rinses, can all help whiten teeth by removing some of the stain build-up and providing a mild bleaching effect if properly used.

If you need further advice to whiten your smile, ask your dentist. They can give you the proper advice on how to achieve the sparkly, white smile you’ve always wanted.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

Why You Need to Keep Your Dental Appointments | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dental treatmentYou’ve missed the last couple dental appointments, and it’s time you face facts – it’s time you pay a visit. And if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, your first visit back will require a lot of routine procedures. Most dental visits will follow a similar path, and knowing what to expect can help lower the stress of the unknown. Dentistry has come a long way though, so there is no need to have anxiety on your visit to the dentist. Here’s the basics:

X-rays. Most dentists will conduct a number of X-rays – some of them may be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful. Not only will they be able to see large problems like misaligned, missing or cracked teeth, they’ll also be able to see small cavities caused by decay, and even problems such as bone loss in the jaw caused by periodontal disease.

Examination. Once the X-rays are complete, the dentist will likely check your teeth manually for anything that they noticed when reviewing the X-ray, and also check the health of gums for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. If you’re complaining of a specific problem – perhaps a toothache – it’s likely the dentist will identify the cause in his examination.

Cleaning. Depending on the length of your appointment, your dental professional may follow your examination with a thorough professional cleaning. If you haven’t seen a dentist in quite some time, the professional cleaning may be more involved, with techniques such as periodontal scaling (cleaning the roots beneath the gum line), which can take multiple visits.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.